Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Spaghetti Sauce Surprise

Sometime ago I read a recipe in one of the Moosewood cookbooks for what I think was called Mystery Marinara Sauce. You blend up some garden veggies and mix them into your regular spaghetti sauce.

This last weekend I had planned on spaghetti for dinner, but wanted to soup it up a bit. Usually, that would mean cooking up some Italian sausage, but Rob is still on the vegetarian kick so that wasn't an option. I remembered the Moosewood recipe and decided to wing it. I found a red pepper, yellow squash, and brocolli in the fridge. I sauteed them in olive oil, threw them in the blender (my Vita-Mix) with some Ragu, heated it up, and we had a delicious, yet healthy, spaghetti dish. I imagine you could do this with any leftover veggies. Give it a try.

Oh, one more thing. Mystery Marinara sounds too much like Mystery Meat to me, so I renamed it Spaghetti Sauce Surprise. I never did let onto the kids that I blended vegetables into the sauce and they were none the wiser!


Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Karen, now you are reveling my secrets to the kids! I have shredded veggies into spaghetti sauce for years-- most especially zucchinis when the summer superabundance happens.
Thick, flavourful and light!

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Ooops--did I say Karen? Can you edit the comment, Maureen?

Maureen Wittmann said...

I'm not sure if or how to edit comments. But I knew what you meant :-).

I've been shredding veggies for years, but my super picky eater can still pick out the wee little strands of vegetables.

Blending the veggies does make the sauce a lighter color so they do suspect that you've done something sinister, but they don't quite know what it is. ;-)

Meredith said...

This is hysterical, I love your new name for the Mystery Sauce. I think we all grew up with a mystery meat of sorts!! My dh encountered a regular *sea of foil* in his mom's freezer!! Too funny!

Anonymous said...

My Asperger's child is an extremely picky eater, as is my husband, and both virtually require CPR everytime they SEE a vegetable. I'd never had much success sneaking veggies into their food until I discovered "The Sneaky Chef" by Missy Chase Lapine. Now they get white bean puree, along with a puree of cooked cauliflower and raw zucchini in their boxed Fettucine Alfredo and Mac 'n Cheese (such healthy choices they have:-O.) I started by just adding a little puree and gradually built up and they haven't noticed:-) Another "acceptable" item for them is taco meat, which is now laced with (tada!) a "purple puree" of cooked spinach and raw blueberries. The same purple puree goes into fudge brownies and chocolate cupcakes, along with wheatgerm. I sneak "orange puree" (puree of steamed sweet potatoes and carrots) into pizza and marinara sauces and nobody notices. My finest hour: sneaking "green puree" (a puree of cooked spinach, green peas, and the dread broccoli) into meatballs! My entire family loved them and had no clue I was sneaking greens down their throats!:-) To trick my reluctant herbivores, I have to puree the veggies until they're very smooth and there are no telltale lumps or threads or specks.

Maureen Wittmann said...

You are all too funny!

Anon, I have an Aspergers kid too. He's also my kid with celiac disease (no gluten) so, thankfully, he's not too picky.

Now I'm off to the library website to see if they have The Sneaky Chef -- thanks for the tip!!!