Spaghetti Sauce

It is time for me to start making freezer meals so I don't have to do much post-baby. I have started my lists of things to make. I always keep spaghetti sauce frozen for a quick dinner. I double and sometimes triple this recipe. I add chopped veggies to make it extra healthy and serve it on whole wheat noodles. Obviously if you don't have all these veggies on hand, you don't have to add them. I just like to add as many healthy things into my family's diet as possible!

Spaghetti Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bell pepper, chopped (I have used red, green or yellow)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
Generous handfuls of spinach, chopped finely
4-6 ounces mushrooms, sliced and halved (optional)
1 can olives, rinsed and chopped or sliced thinly (optional)
1 tablespoon fennel, crushed well
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon basil (as needed to taste)
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and then add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrot and fennel. Cook until veggies are soft. Add the remainder of ingredients leaving the salt & pepper to taste until closer to the end. Cook on low as long as possible, at least a couple of hours, stirring occasionally. Also works great in the crock-pot, but skip the stirring and realize the sauce won't thicken as much in the crock pot as on the stove. Add salt & pepper at the end as you begin testing the flavor. You can add a little sugar if it tastes too acidic. I always top mine with fresh parmesan!

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