My little green house is pumping out plump tomatoes, a couple handfuls a day.. most of which are chilling in the freezer, but these heirloom beauties were destine for a deep rich veggatarian ragu. This sauce is super versatile, I made a big pan full and had some on left over rice for lunch today dressed with fresh goat feta and oregano, the rest of the sauce (about a pint) will cozy in a jar and wait for a bed of pasta noodles this weekend.
In the event you too have a picky eater around, a thick tomato sauce is a great way to hid teeny tiny little veggie bits 😉 This ragu has 9 different veggies in it, I even slipped beet into this recipe, which I find adds a nice sweetness that works well with the mild acidity of the fresh tomatoes. I know a ragu is traditionally a meat based sauce… but seeing as this thick tomatoes sauce has a stick to your rib-nes to it.. I’m calling it a ragu!
Start warming a good amount of olive oil in a deep cast iron pan
add the following finely chopped veggies and brown:
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a large green pepper
1/4 of a small zucchini
season with S+P, chili flakes, bay leaf, fresh minced herbs; oregano, thyme & basil.
Once all these veggies start to get good and brown add in about 6 cups of diced tomatoes. I used an assortment of 6 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.
reduce heat and to the tomatoes add
2 cups boiling water
2 heaping Tbsp red pepper spread
1 small grated beet
Allow everything to simmer away for as long as you have to wait (adding extra hot water and season as needed) 1 hour is plenty but 3 is ideal! If you have less time to cook it down or if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can zip it up with an immersion blender, me I like some tomato chunks.
That’s is.. simple garden harvest ragu, ready to smother anything you want to cover in deliciousness!