This is a version of a recipe introduced to me by my dear friend Debbie. When I was going through cancer treatment, she made and brought spaghetti to our home quite a few times. Not only did she bring her food to nourish our bodies, but her presence in my home was such a light in those dimmed times. Her sauce was some of the BEST I’ve ever tasted, and I had to know her recipe. She was sweet enough to share it with me.
This recipe has 2 super cool things about it. They are so super cool that I am only introducing one of those things in this post, and will be writing another post about the other very soon. The first cool thing is that it has NO SUGAR in it. It is nearly impossible to find a jarred, store-bought sauce with no sugar, or the evil high fructose corn syrup. I also had yet to find a spaghetti sauce recipe that I love that didn’t add sugar. Until this one of course. Carrots give the perfect sweetness to this sauce, and add some healthiness to it, too!
The second cool thing is that this recipe is just about 1/5 the amount of the original recipe. In the original recipe, you make a huge batch, then freeze the leftover sauce in muffin tins, which then gives you a whole big Ziploc full of spaghetti sauce freezer pucks. These are so great to have on hand! I will be giving you the instructions and all the ways we use them at our house in an upcoming post.
Here are some of the wholesome ingredients used in this recipe. This photo is pretty special to me…wanna know why?
…and this one.
Here’s why. My little 9- year old took them! She has been watching me and now has an interest in photography. Discussions on natural lighting, using the whiteboard as a light reflector, composition and NOT getting the dirty dishes in the shot have all resulted in some great shots from Lil’ One. I’m a proud Mama.
Back to our recipe…here is a not so great shot taken by my phone of some carrots roasting for this recipe. The rest of the photos in this post are all taken by my iPhone, so little one’s pics above are definitely gonna shine in comparison. I think that is fitting.
Start by roasting your carrots. You only need 3 for this recipe, but I roast a whole bag of carrots when I make it because I LOVE roasted carrots. I line a pan with foil, lay peeled carrots on, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. You will hear them sizzle and are looking for the carrots to caramelize on the bottoms a bit. Mmmm….roasted wholesome sweetness! You can reheat the carrots later and serve with your spaghetti dinner, or you could just save 2 out for the recipe and eat the whole pan for lunch like I did today! For more on roasted vegetables, click here to read 5 reasons why I love roasted vegetables and 19 roasted vegetable recipes!
Break three roasted carrots up into a bowl.
A quick mash with a fork is all you need. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a pan. Add your onions and garlic. Let cook for a few minutes until softened and transparent. Add spices, salt and pepper. Take a whiff–this smells so good!
Add tomato paste and…
Add crushed tomatoes, or if you have chopped, you can crush them yourself. I like to chop my canned Italian tomatoes up with my Cuisinart hand blender before adding. My family does not like big chunks of tomatoes in our sauce. I use my Cuisinart in this way all the time, it makes it so easy!
Simmer the sauce for 2-4 hours. Could also put into a crock pot on low for the day.
This recipe made about 5 cups of sauce. The recipe I will share with you soon is this same recipe, but it makes 28-30 cups! I will for sure be making a big batch next time. I love recipes that give you a BIG payoff for little amount of work.
This recipe was enough for 2 meals for our family. I froze 1/2 in a mason jar and will be using it tonight for our dinner with some roasted eggplant and pasta.
Spaghetti Sauce Sweetened With Carrots
3 long cooked carrots – roasted, steamed or boiled
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp marjoram (I left out didn’t have)
pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
11/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 14.5 oz cans chopped or crushed tomatoes (I used Italian herb type)
1 6oz can tomato paste
11/2 cups water (start with 1, add to desired consistency & taste)
Roast peeled carrots per instructions above, 450 degrees, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. 20 minutes or until soft and brown/caramelized at the bottom. Mash with a fork. Set aside
Heat olive oil in a pan. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add your onions and garlic. Let cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and transparent. Add all spices, salt and pepper. Stir. Add carrots & tomato paste. Stir. Add crushed tomatoes, stir. Add water, a little at a time, until desired consistency. Simmer for 2-4 hours, or put into a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Stay tuned for how to make this recipe in bulk and freeze into pucks! You will LOVE having portion size spaghetti sauce ready to use at all times. I use about 5 frozen pucks when making spaghetti for the family. It is
sooo yummy and I’m convinced this recipe gets even better after freezing!