2 bell peppers (orange, red or yellow)
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 large carrots, trim the ends and cut in half
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed with the flat side of a knife, and rough chopped
1 bunch beet leaves (trim the leaves from 3-4 medium to large beets)
2 tbps red cooking wine
3 cans (15 ounce) organic tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano (multiply any of the dried herbs by 3 if using fresh)
1 tsp dried parsley
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp marjoram
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Using a baking sheet with raised sides, line the bottom with parchment paper. Place the bell peppers, onion quarters, and carrots on top, then drizzle with oil. Place in oven for 30 minutes, then turn the peppers and carrots over and bake another 30 minutes. When done, immediately place in a small bowl (just large enough for everything to fit) and cover with plastic lid or foil. Let sit until cool.
Next, in a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute. While that is cooking, gather the beet leaves in a single bunch and chop into 1/2” slices. Place the beet leaves into the pot, and stir often to keep from burning or sticking to the bottom. After the beet leaves have wilted, add the cooking wine, tomato sauce and herbs. Bring to boil, then let simmer about 10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, break the carrot halves into 2 inch pieces and separate the onion layers, then place those items into the sauce. Remove the peppers from the bowl (if there’s any liquid at the bottom of the bowl, pour that into the sauce) and peel the burnt skins away, then cut in half and scrape the insides with a knife edge to remove the seeds and stems. Toss the peeled, seeded peppers into the sauce.
Next, either transfer the sauce into a blender, or grab an immersion blender. I prefer the immersion blender method, just be sure you’re not wearing white clothes. You want to blend until still somewhat chunky, just make sure all of the veggies have been blended down. The sauce should be rich and thick, not watery. If it is thin, put it back in the soup pot and simmer until it reaches the consistency you want.
If you are serving right away, go ahead and make your pasta, and enjoy! I typically make enough to can at least half, and sometimes can the entire batch. This recipe is enough to fill four pint-size jars. Keep in mind that tomato sauce is a bit tricky to can, due to the lower acidity levels. (You really want a product with a pH value of 4.5 or lower or you run the risk of developing botulism. Yuck!)
I have found several sites that say to add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for a pint size jar, and 2 tablespoons for a quart size jar, but I don’t like the added flavor, and besides, we use it up fairly fast, so I just do the water bath canning technique, then store them in the fridge. Usually, I use them up within a week or two. If you plan on canning for longer periods, make sure to research this topic. Here’s a website I found that should help.