Did you over-estimate how many zucchini plants you needed again? Zucchini are so plentiful in the summer, and finding ways to use them all up can be pretty challenging. This year, use up your zucchini by making this unique, vegetable-packed pizza sauce. It's every bit as rich as the pizza sauces at pizza joints like Greg's Pizza, and it's packed with tons of healthy nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, folate and iron.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 8 – 10 large, ripe tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium bell pepper
- 1 can tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- Wash the tomatoes, and slice each one in half. Remove the seeds, and then slice them into small cubes.
- Peel the zucchini, and slice it thinly. Also chop the onions, bell pepper, and garlic finely.
- Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven. When the oil is hot, drop in the onions and bell pepper.
- Saute the onions and pepper until tender, and then add the garlic. Saute for another minute, but do not let the garlic brown.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and zucchini to the pan. Also stir in the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper, if desired.
- Place a lid on the pan, and turn the heat to medium-low.
- Let the sauce simmer for 1 hour, removing the lid periodically to stir it. The moisture will render out of the zucchini and tomatoes, causing the sauce to appear very thin at this stage.
- Remove the lid from the pan, and adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer. Let the sauce simmer for an additional 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until thickened considerably.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Continue stirring until the cheese is melts and disappears into the sauce.
- Taste the sauce, and adjust the salt and seasonings as desired.
Use this sauce on all of your favorite pizzas. It's delicious when topped with plenty of cheese, sliced onions and bell peppers, but feel free to experiment with new toppings, too. Your family will ask for this sauce again and again – and unless you tell them, they'll never suspect it has zucchini in it.