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      Baby's First Tomato Sauce


      1 Tbs. olive oil

      1/2{} small red onion, chopped

      1/4 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and grated

      1 carrot, peeled and grated

      1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes

      1/2 cup vegetable stock or water

      1 Tbs. tomato paste

      1 tsp. light brown sugar


      Method of Preparation:

      1. 1 to 2 heaping Tbs. pasta stars or other small shapes (according to appetite), plus 1 Tbs. shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

      2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and gently saut the onion, squash, and carrot until soft but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover, and let simmer until thickened, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with a little pepper.

      3. Cool slightly, and then blend to a puree. The sauce can be frozen in individual portions; when needed, thaw for 1 hour at room temperature, or in a microwave for 30 to 60 seconds.

      4. To serve, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan, then stir in the pasta sauce and cheese, if using. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is piping hot. Cool slightly before serving