Refrigerator Cleaning Tomato Sauce

We've been knee deep in leftovers and comfort foods (matzo brei, corned beef hash, pasta with meat sauce, etc) recently, so I haven't been doing much cooking outside the norm. Okay, in fairness, I did make some granola bars, and I also made some marshmallows, both with small modifications. But nothing really original to write home about. I looked in the fridge today and realised I had a pile of vegetables that truly were ready to be used up, as well as some beef broth remaining from the beef barley soup (which I will be putting into my regular comfort food rotation). P has been expressing more interest in meatless sauces recently (even going so far as to make a delicious, spicy marinara of his own while I was at work!), so I thought this would be a good way for me to use up the produce. It's easily modified to fit whatever produce you're looking to use up, so please have fun with it! Additionally, I wanted to make a lot of it so I could can some for lazy days. Here it is. I hope you enjoy!

1 cup celery (with leaves), cut into chunks
1 1/2 cup zucchini, cut into chunks
2 cups peeled eggplant, cut into chunks
1 cup carrots, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into chunks
2 cups anise, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups red onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, rinsed to remove some of the salt
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 3/4 cup beef broth (use veggie broth to make this vegan)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 14-ounce can each: diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon each: dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup red wine (I used a cab)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F. After cutting up all the veggies, combine all ingredients in a 13x9" pan (I know, it's a lot to fit in one pan) and braise for about 2 hours, or until all the veggies are soft. Stir periodically while it braises. Remove bay leaf and puree. Adjust seasonings (this is where I add in the red pepper flakes) and simmer for 30 minutes, adding water if needed.


  1. I love that you use the oven for braising all your vegetables. That's a great idea.

  2. Mary,

    Thanks. It's so much simpler. Just pop it in the oven and walk away. If you remember, you can return every now and again to stir, but I think it wouldn't matter if you didn't.

  3. Sounds like my kind of cooking! Now all you need is a solar oven to braise those veggies... ;-)

  4. Chile,

    With the heat we've had here, they'd probably cook in a solar oven at half the time they did in my oven!

  5. The granola's and the marshmallows were amazing! This week Walgreens ad has a sell on ramen noodles in a 6 pack for 99cents!

  6. Jen,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the granola and marshmallows! Yay ramen!


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