Simple Meals – Vegetable Pasta Sauce

Vegetable Pasta Sauce (adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

The Moosewood Cookbook started me on my cooking journey when I was 19.  I was living in my first apartment and barely knew how to boil an egg.  I attribute this lack of cooking skills to my teenage years when I did not want to have anything to do with anything my parents liked or did.  My mom was a home economics teacher at the time. She tried, but I didn’t listen.

After a few weeks of living off cereal and toast, and finally out of those teenage years,  I borrowed my mom’s Moosewood Cookbook.  I was attracted to its simple hand written style and illustrations.

This recipe makes enough for nine meals for my husband and I.  It is extremely easy to make and freeze and is wonderful for last-minute meals. I heat the empty and clean regular-sized mason jars in the oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees and soak the lids in boiled water.  Fill up the jars (make sure to leave an inch at the top for expansion) and then freeze them once everything has cooled down.  No need for special canning equipment!


  • 4 to 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 2 medium-sized bell pepper, diced
  • 4 medium stalks celery, minced
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 to 4 medium (6-inch) zucchini, diced
  • 2 to 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 8 tsp. basil
  • 4 tsp. oregano
  • 4 tsp. thyme
  • 4 tsp. dill (optional – I love dill and put it in as many dishes as I can)
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 lb (26 oz) canned diced tomatoes
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • lots of black pepper
  • 8 to 12 large cloves garlic


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large cooking pot.  Add first set of ingredients (onion to salt) and sauté over medium heat until the onion is very soft (about 20 minutes).
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and black pepper.  Bring to a boil, the lower heat and simmer, partially covered for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 10 minutes more.
  4. Put in mason jars.


Do you have a favorite pasta sauce recipe?


2 thoughts on “Simple Meals – Vegetable Pasta Sauce

    • It’s definitely never too late to learn! My mom is coming over in a few weeks to teach me how to make pie crust.

      I hope that when I’m a mom I’ll understand if my kids don’t want anything to do with what I love.

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