Hearty Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

hearty vegetarian spaghetti sauceHere’s a quick weeknight homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. It’s hearty and filling—not to mention tasty. This is the kind of sauce I love to have with spaghetti, but it’s also just as good with rigatoni or any other pasta you like.

This has a wonderful “meaty” texture. I use veggie crumbles for convenience. If you wanted you could add crumbled tempeh or seitan instead.

If you can’t find the large 35 ounce size of tomatoes (Cento makes one that’s usually not too hard to find), a 28 ounce can will do. You might need to add some extra tomato paste and water in that case.

The Parmesan or Romano cheese is optional, but it adds a rich depth of flavor that works well here. This is the perfect foil for rumbling bellies.

Hearty Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce
Enough for 1 pound of pasta

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ c tomato paste
35 oz. can Italian-style tomatoes, chopped
½ cup water
1 cup bell pepper, green, red, or a combination, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp sea salt
black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, optional
12 oz. pkg veggie crumbles (I like Quorn.)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onion 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook another minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a couple of minutes more.

Stir in the tomatoes and water. Add the bell pepper, bay leaf, oregano, basil, thyme, sea salt, pepper, and Parmesan or Romano. Cover and cook on medium heat 30 minutes. Stir often, but watch out for spattering sauce when you lift the lid!

Stir in the frozen veggie crumbles and return to a simmer. Cook another 10 minutes until heated through and serve.

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