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Zesty pasta sauce 

First published in Chatelaine's 09/2000 issue.


2 medium-size onions
1 tbsp ( 15 mL) vegetable oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large sweet peppers, 1 red and 1 green
1 to 2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 tsp (5 mL) red chili flakes (optional)
4 beefsteak or 6 plum tomatoes
2 slim medium-size zucchini
1/4 cup ( 50 mL) shredded fresh basil
700 mlor 750 mL jar flavourful spaghetti sauce, about 3 cups 
1/2 tsp ( 2 mL) salt (optional)
1/2 tsp ( 2 mL) freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 to 3 tsp ( 5 to 15 mL) granulated sugar (optional)


1. Chop onions. Heat oil in a large wide saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice sweet peppers and add along with jalapeños, if using. 

2. Slice unpeeled tomatoes in half. Squeeze out seeds and juice. Coarsely chop pulp and add to saucepan. Increase heat to medium-high. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, then thinly slice. Stir into tomato mixture, along with basil and spaghetti sauce. Stir often, uncovered, until piping hot, about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper and sugar, if needed.