Roasted Vegetable Sauce

Brrrrr…it is FREEZING here in Chicago. Like, bitter, bitter, BITTER cold. We’re doing our best to keep busy (and sane!) indoors, and I’ve found that a little creativity goes a long way.

Mack wants to be a chef when he grows up, so I try my best to foster his interest in cooking. Quite often I encourage him to help me prepare dinner, and he is usually thrilled with the opportunity. Today I put him to work chopping zucchini.  I always let him use a real knife – it is sharp enough to cut his little hands – because I know he will be careful and because he wants to practice. And, if he does cut himself I’m ready with a Band-Aid and a smooch to make him feel better. He takes the responsibility seriously and he doesn’t goof around or go too fast. Knock on wood, but he’s never cut himself.

Today we made a homemade roasted veggie sauce to toss atop pasta (for the kids) and spaghetti squash (for me and Chris). While Mack diced, Vivian helped by moving the cut veggies over to the pans.

I also asked her to remove the little green tops off the tomatoes. She called them “boogers.” Whatever she wants to call them works for me as long as she is taking pride in helping out!

I have been reluctant to post this recipe because…well…it just doesn’t photograph very well.  I get that it looks blah and, quite frankly, like “throw up” (according to Mack), but I promise promise promise that it is delicious and healthy and so super simple. Plus, any vegetables in the fridge can easily be substituted in for any of the ingredients I list below. It is a very flexible and forgiving recipe!

Roasted Vegetable Sauce

2 small eggplants, diced

5 small green zucchini, diced

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled

3 pints cherry tomatoes

olive oil


Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly distribute the vegetables between them. Add several liberal glugs of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Shake the pans so the oil coats every veggie.

Roast for 25-30 minutes – long enough for the eggplant and zucchini to get tender and for the tomatoes to blister. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Puree (using caution as this is hot!) until the consistency is smooth.

Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

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