Since this sauce is blended, its a great way of getting some veggies into fussy kids (or fussy adults). You can also add additional vegetables to the dish such as broccoli or courgette to increase the veggie count even more.
An Oil Free Pasta Sauce
You can make this as an oil free recipe. To do this you add the chopped onion and garlic to a dry pan on a medium/high heat. Stir regularly until it starts to sizzle and stick to the side of the pot. Then add a little water and continue to stir and loosen to prevent burning. Add the chopped carrot, celery, and pepper. Stir regularly for another minute or two until the onion is soft, then add the tomatoes.
Alternatively you can add a little olive oil to the pan at the beginning. The oil free version is a good way of minimising the calorie count since a tablespoon of oil contains around 120 calories.
Once you add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, you leave on a simmer for around 20 minutes. Then you take a hand blender and blend the sauce to the desired consistency.
A hand blender is very useful if you have one as it prevents the mess of transferring the sauce to a blender in order to blend. We have used a Vitamix to blend the sauce, and while it does result in a very smooth sauce, it involves more effort and washing.
Since this is usually for all of the family including the kids, we don’t tend to add chili to the sauce, but if you like spice, some fresh chili will add a lovely heat to the sauce. If you add the salt at the end, you can add enough to reach the desired saltiness, but not more. As you cook more home made meals, your taste buds will adjust to require less salt.
This sauce served great served on whole grain pasta, with a sprinkle of black pepper, and topped with some almond parmesan topping. As always, I recommend whole grain for more fibre and nutrients, but the sauce will work perfectly with white pasta.
For variation, you can also try a version of the sauce made with passatta instead of chopped tomatoes. Some additional veggies added to the pasta sauce is also a winner.
Tomato and Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the chopped onion and garlic to a pot on a medium high heat. (either a dry pot or with a little oil) Stir regularly. If not using oil, once the onion and garlic begin to sizzle and stick to the sides of the pot, add a little water to loosen and prevent burning.
- Add the chopped carrot, chopped pepper, chopped celery, and dried oregano and stir for another few minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Blend the sauce with a hand blender to the desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with some cooked pasta.