SUMMER VEGETABLES IN RED SAUCE RECIPE

One of my favorite things about summer is the colorful vegetables. I pack my plate with as many vegetables as I can at this time of year because I know they won’t be as tasty or affordable six months from now. Simmering a vegetable medley in a simple jar of pasta sauce makes a really quick, filling, and inexpensive meal that you can spoon over a bowl of polenta, a plate of pasta, or even a hearty piece of toast. Simple and delicious!

WHAT VEGETABLES TO USE

Whenever I make a recipe with more than one vegetable, I always try to make sure to get a variety of colors. So today I used eggplant (dark/purple), zucchini (green), red bell pepper (red) and yellow onion (white). But there are some other vegetables that would work well in this recipe as well.

Carrots
Yellow squash
Green bell pepper
Spinach or kale
Mushrooms
Asparagus

RED SAUCE OPTIONS

To keep this recipe extra simple, I just used a jar of store-bought pasta sauce, but any red pasta sauce will work here. If you prefer to make your own instead of buying a pre-made sauce, you can try my quick weeknight pasta sauce, or my deep slow cooker pasta sauce.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEGETABLES IN RED SAUCE

I whipped up a quick Parmesan polenta to serve as the base for these vegetables and sauces, but they would be just as good over pasta, mashed potatoes, or a hearty piece of toast.

SUMMER VEGETABLES IN RED SAUCE

Colorful summer vegetables simmered in red sauce and spooned over hot polenta make a hot and cheap meal.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins

INGREDIENTS

VEGETABLES IN RED SAUCE
1 yellow onion ($0.32)
4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
1 eggplant ($1.49)
1 tsp Italian seasoning ($0.10)
1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
1/4 tsp pepper ($0.03)
1 red bell pepper ($1.50)
1 zucchini ($1.47)
1 24oz. jar pasta sauce ($1.50)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) ($0.10)
PARMESAN CORNMEAL (OPTIONAL)
5 cups water ($0.00)
1 tsp salt ($0.05)
1 cup yellow cornmeal ($0.40)
2 Tbsp butter ($0.22)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.36)

INSTRUCTIONS

Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add onion, garlic and olive oil to a large pot. Saute onions on medium heat until soft.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, cut the eggplant into ½-inch pieces. Add the eggplant to the pot with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and continue to sauté over medium heat.
Chop the red pepper. Once the eggplant is soft, add the chopped bell peppers to the pot and continue to fry.
Cut the zucchini into ¼-inch-thick quarter rounds, then add them to the pot. Continue roasting for just a few more minutes, or until the zucchini begins to soften.
Add the red sauce and 1/4 cup water to the pot and stir to combine. Let the vegetables simmer in the sauce for 5-10 minutes, or until they reach your desired tenderness.
While the vegetables are boiling, add water to a separate pot and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, stir in the salt, then stir in the cornmeal while stirring. Continue to cook and stir until the cornmeal thickens (it should be quick).
Once the cornmeal has thickened, stir in the butter until melted, then add the grated Parmesan. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
To serve, spoon? Place corned beef in a bowl, then top with a cup of vegetables and red sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

HOW TO MAKE SUMMER VEGETABLES IN RED SAUCE – STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Chop a yellow onion and chop four cloves of garlic. Toss the onion and garlic in a large pot with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute onions on medium heat until soft.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, cut an eggplant into ½-inch pieces. Add them to the pot along with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and continue to sauté until the eggplant is tender.
Chop a red bell pepper, add it to the pot, and keep roasting.
Cut a zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick quarter rounds. Add the zucchini to the pot and fry until the zucchini starts to soften.
Add a 24oz. Pour the jar (3 cups) red sauce and 1/4 cup water into a pot and stir to combine.
Let the vegetables cook in the red sauce for another 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt to taste.
If you want to serve the vegetables over the polenta, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. After boiling, stir in a teaspoon of salt, then add a cup of cornmeal while stirring. Continue to cook and stir until it thickens (this only takes a minute or two).
Stir two tablespoons of butter into the thickened cornmeal.
Finally, stir in ¼ cup grated Parmesan. Taste the cornmeal and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Add about? 1 cup of cornmeal in a bowl and top with 1 cup of the vegetables in the red sauce. Top with a little more Parmesan and some chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!