HEALTHY HIDDEN VEGETABLE PASTA SAUCE FOR KIDS

Hidden vegetable pasta sauce – vegetarian and meat options

Everyone has a recipe for homemade pasta sauce but we think this one is pretty tasty and packed full of vegetables for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 8 large fresh tomatoes (tinned tomatoes are great too – aim for at 800g)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 250ml stock (vegetable/chicken/Beef)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 table spoons oil (spray oil is fine too)
  • 1 bunch parsley (optional)
  • 1 tub tomato paste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in wok or large pan.
  2. Roughly chop celery, onion, carrots and zucchini and add to pan to brown. The size of your vegetables will depend on time available and how fussy your kids are about seeing them in their food, as a rule, 5-10mins should be enough time to cook though.
  3. Next crush the garlic clove and add to heat stirring occasionally to prevent any ingredients from sticking to the bottom.
  4. Coarsely chop tomatoes (if fresh) and add to pan along with 1 cup of stock and tomato paste. Stir mixture together ensuring all ingredients are combined. Reduce heat to medium and cover, allowing sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat once vegetables have become soft. To really disguise use a hand blender to smooth the sauce before serving.

Optional extras:

  1. To make this sauce more of a bolognaise we suggest removing the mixture from the heat once vegetables are soft, and blending in a food processor or blender. While the sauce is blending, add mincemeat/meatballs (see our Hidden Veggie Meatball recipe!) to the pan to brown, before re-adding the blended sauce and simmer for a further 15-20 mins (or until the meat has been cooked through).
  2. If you prefer a creamier bolognaise sauce, add a tablespoon or two of low fat mayonnaise.
  3. If there are vegetables your kids enjoy (like peas or corn), use this opportunity to add a cup or two to the mixture as well. The more vegetables the merrier!

Something for the grownups:

If you’d like to add a bit more kick to bolognaise try adding capsicum, chillies, Cajun spices or red kidney beans. Most of these additions can be made just before serving so the kids can have a milder version while the adults can heat things up.

Serves: 4-5

Why not try another of our delicious recipes containing vegetables in disguise!