Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
on Sep 07, 2022, Updated Aug 30, 2023
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This creamy and easy hidden veggie pasta sauce is a total gamechanger. Kids and adults will never know that there are 5 to 6 hidden veggies in here. The sauce is silky smooth and no one will know that it’s loaded in healthy fiber and nutrients. There are many reasons why kids and adults don’t like eating vegetables and often the reason is texture. Enter this sauteed, blended sauce, which masks tender-cooked vegetables in a tomato sauce. This recipe is for anyone looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet without the overwhelming taste or texture.
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My motto is; if they don’t ask, simply don’t tell. If your loved ones are picky eaters, serve them this pasta dish without telling them what’s in it and let me know if they notice or not. I served this to Steve and he had no clue what was in this sauce. I told him there were hidden veggies, and he was shocked. He said that this was one of the tastiest pasta sauces he has tried and would enjoy a bowl any time of day.
This recipe is perfect for back-to-school and meal prep, as it can easily be batch-cooked and frozen.
Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- 4 cups pasta, any shape you like (I boiled 300 grams of rigatoni which was about 4 cups)
- Warm the olive oil in a large pan with high sides over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Stir in the garlic and add the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan with a lid, leaving a small opening on the side, and let simmer, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add carefully add the mixture to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- In the meantime, boil your pasta of choice in boiling salted water until al dente. I used half of my sauce and added the cooked pasta to it with a touch of the pasta water.
- Garnish with parm and enjoy. I reserved the remaining sauce for the week but you can use it all up if you are a family of 4 or 5 as this recipe makes a lot of sauce.
- Please note that the vegetables should be chopped into small, equal sizes so that everything cooks evenly. You don’t have to precise as everything will get blended at the end regardless.
- Feel free to use passata (strained tomato puree) or your favourite tomato sauce. Feel free to use a good quality sauce like Rao’s. I used half of my pasta sauce and saved the other half as there was only the two of us eating.
- You can make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it for up to 6 months. You can even freeze it into small portions in a small Ziplock bag. When boiling your pasta be sure to boil the water and season generously with salt as it’s your only chance to season the pasta.
- You are more than welcome to add a splash of heavy cream or coconut cream at the very end if you want a more luxurious and silky sauce. If you are taking this meal for work or sending it for the kids at school, you can boil the pasta in the morning, coat it with the sauce and pop it in a thermos. A trick to keeping the thermos warm is to add boiling hot water to your thermos and dump it out before you add the pasta in so that it ensures the thermos stays hot for longer.
- If you don’t feel like eating this with pasta you can also add a touch of veggie broth as you will be left with the most delicious and creamy veggie soup. Please let me know how you liked this recipe in the comments or let me know what you did differently.