Making spaghetti sauce takes time and patience. Starting with a few basic ingredients, you can add additional vegetables to punch up the nutritional and flavor content. Parents of finicky eaters disguise vegetables in the sauce, so children eat a better diet. Try adding some of these veggies to spaghetti sauce, and enjoy.
Start the sauce by sauteing onion, garlic and tomatoes until tender. Fresh tomatoes make the best sauce, but canned or frozen are fine. If you like a sweet-flavored sauce, grate a few carrots into the pan, and saute until tender. Add tomato sauce, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the temperature, put a lid on the pot and simmer on low heat for several hours. Stir the mixture often. Slowly cooking the sauce imparts rich, delicious flavor.
Add flavor with bell peppers. Core the bell peppers, dice and sauté with the onions. This gives the sauce a tangy, sweet flavor that accents the tomatoes. Use a single type of bell pepper, or add a dash of color by putting in yellow, orange, red, purple and green bell pepper. Each pepper has a slightly different taste, and provides different nutrients. If you like spicy foods, toss in a few chili peppers or Tabasco peppers.
When sautéing the onions, toss in a handful or two of fresh mushrooms. Button or shitake mushrooms give spaghetti sauce a great flavor, and mushrooms make a great meat substitute. Canned mushrooms work if fresh aren't available. Make sure you drain off any juice from the mushrooms before adding to the pan. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, and then add the tomatoes.
Sneak some vegetables into your child's diet the easy way. Peel and chop zucchini or a few stalks of celery into small pieces. Saute the vegetables with the onion, garlic and tomatoes. Add fresh, chopped spinach to the sauce, and let the sauce cook for several hours. The children never notice the added vegetables, and eat it without complaining at all.
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