Looking for a meatless, but hearty, meal that will please your entire family? This VEGETARIAN CHUNKY MARINARA SAUCE is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion like date-night-in!
So let’s talk Valentine’s Day. What’s your plan? Do you cook at home or brave the crowds and go to a restaurant to make them do all the work? Or is it all about the kids and showing them all the love? Tell me your scoop!
I personally am not a huge fan of going out to eat on Valentine’s Day because EVERYONE seems to have had that same thought and getting a table anywhere is quite the nightmare. So, being the awesome food-lover that I am, I almost always opt to make Valentine’s dinner at home. It’s more special. It’s usually healthier and tastier. And there’s always a guarantee of a free table ready and waiting for my cute little family.
This year, we’re making Valentine’s Day all about our kiddo. (the mrs. and i are celebrating the following week when he’s at his dad’s) We’ll shower him with cute little heart-shaped gifts and probably more candy than he needs.
(anyone else still have Christmas candy? What about Halloween?? no comment here…)
But he’s going to be one loved little guy on Valentine’s!
When thinking about what we might want to eat for our Valentine’s night in, I immediately went to pasta. Red sauce pasta just always seems to scream love-food… am I right? But as a vegetarian, spaghetti sauce can be boring. Thin, runny, and flavorless. I know that I need to kick it up to really impress my family so it’s not just any old spaghetti that we could have any night of the week.
So I added some big chunky veggies to give it some texture. Something to take the place of the meat. And then I wanted to kick of the flavor, so I added two secret-not-so-secret ingredients. The butter and sugar. I know – totally weird for spaghetti sauce. But it is an amazing addition that adds a lot of bold flavor. I’ll never go back to boring old jar sauce since this one is so simple and full of flavor.
And if you really want to get romantic, eat from the same plate and play “Lady and the Tramp.” … just don’t ask who’s the tramp – you may not get an answer you like!
- 1 vegetable stock bouillon cube
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 Tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 green pepper , chopped
- 8 ounces chopped mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Cooked pasta to feed 6
- In a large saucepan, melt vegetable bouillon cube in a bit of hot water until dissolved.
- Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, garlic salt, bay leaves, and tomato paste. Stir well.
- Next add the chopped pepper, mushrooms, butter, and brown sugar. Cover and simmer on medium heat for at least 15 minutes. I like to simmer for about an hour on medium low heat to really get the flavors combined.
- Cook your pasta and serve covered with sauce.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture, upload it to Instagram and tag me (@happyfoodholly) and use the hashtag #inspiredbyholly
Looking for more vegetarian dinner ideas?
Orange Chicken Tofu Bowl – Happy Food Healthy Life
Jamaican Jerk Veggie Sandwiches – Oh My Veggies
Chipotle Roasted Veggie Wrap – Happy Food Healthy Life
Sweet Potato & Kale Coconut Curry – Tasty Yummies
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