Do you have fussy eaters in your house? I do. He is three years old & has recently decided that anything green in his food is ‘yucky’. From there it is always an uphill battle to get him to eat his dinner. I have had to learn to be sneaky, finding way to hide the green stuff & make it all taste ‘yummy’ by calling everything sauce! He’s not always convinced, but at least we have a better shot at getting some vegetables into him this way without all the fuss & drama! With this in mind, I put together this recipe & thus far it has been a winner with the fussy one & the rest of us too!
The other important thing about this recipe is that it is quick & easy to make. Life is busy &, as much as I would like to, I don’t always have time to potter in the kitchen making dishes that have lots of components or need a lot of time. This little beauty can be whipped up in a matter of minutes & loses nothing in flavour or nutrition. A little chopping, sautéing & blending & it’s done – easy-peasy!
Like most of my recipes, it’s also very flexible. No need to feel bound by certain ingredients, you can mix it up & change things to suit your taste & pantry stocks! I used a jar of my homemade Passata in this too! Store bought tinned tomatoes or passata will work just fine as well. If your using fresh tomatoes, it will require a longer cooking time to allow the tomatoes to break down – still very usable though!
Have vegetables you need to use, that aren’t as fresh as when you bought them? This’ll work for you!
Long day at work, want something you can have done & dusted within 15 – 30 minutes? This’ll work for you!
Want to prepare ahead & just heat up when you need it? This’ll work for you!
This Sneaky Vegetable Pasta Sauce goes really well with plain pasta, cannelloni and my favourite, chicken ravioli. If you’re into, or have the time to make fresh pasta, it is a wonderful compliment, having a fresh, sweet flavour, interlaced with punchy garlic & onion. If, like me, you are short on time, you can use the bought stuff & still get a great result! In this particular instance, I used fresh chicken & roasted garlic ravioli made locally. Other times I will use what you find in the fridge section at the supermarket. In the end, no matter what you use, it tastes great, is packed with flavour & will please even the fussiest of fussy!
Here’s how it goes;
- 1 medium brown onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 2 medium or 1 large grated carrot
- 1/2 large grated zucchini
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 400 - 500gm tomato purée, tinned or fresh chopped tomatoes, or passata
- 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh italian parsley roughly chopped
- salt & pepper to season
- Roughly chop onion & garlic.
- Grate carrot & zucchini.
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion & garlic & sauté until softened - about 5 minutes stirring regularly.
- Add carrot & zucchini & sauté for a further 3 minutes.
- Add dried oregano, basil & tomatoes.
- Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low & simmer for approx. 5 minutes.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- Using stick blender or similar, blend the sauce until smooth - (you can leave it chunkier, if that is your preference).
- Return to low heat & simmer for approx. 5 mins.
- Cook pasta according to directions on packet.
- Top with Parmesan & serve with some crusty garlic, herb or seeded mustard bread - if you are so inclined, as I indeed am!
- Leftover sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
So … if you’re looking for a quick, easy, healthy, family friendly & super tasty meal, look no further! I hope you like it as much as we do!
Do you have a favourite pasta topper? A go-to recipe packed with hidden vegetable goodness for the fussy ones?
I’d love to hear about it!