Pasta! Easy Ideas & a Killer “Sneaky Veggie” Tomato Pasta/Pizza Sauce
Pasta is a quick easy meal the whole family can enjoy. It provides endless opportunities to get creative. You can choose all kinds of cooked noodles, make your own pasta and infuse it with vegetables flavors like carrot and spinach, or even spiralize or shave raw zucchini, squash, or jicama for live pasta dishes, and then create different sauces and toppings.
You can make the experience as simple or exotic as you like.
Here are some of my favorite ideas:
You can whip up a simple pesto sauce using semi-dried tomatoes and macadamias, basil and pine nuts, or avocado and almonds. It takes just minutes and makes a fabulous 15 minute meal served with a simple green salad.
Lentils and vegetables cooked with tomatoes and vegetable broth makes a delicious healthy pasta sauce that is hearty and delicious. Just use your favorite legumes and leftovers, add some spices, freshen with fresh chopped herbs, and you have a winning combo.
A simple raw alfredo pasta is a lovely idea. Blend up a sauce using raw macadamias, pine nuts, lemon juice, mustard powder, olive oil, garlic, and nutmeg, and top over your favourite shaved raw vegetables. YUMMO!
But, my favorite pasta topping is still a simple tomato sauce. I get so many emails from readers asking how to sneak more vegetables into their children. This pasta/pizza sauce is always one of my top suggestions, as most children and greenophobic adults LOVE pasta and pizza. This homemade vegan pasta sauce looks and tastes like your average commercial pasta sauce, and is loaded with hidden vegetables that have been pureed up. Try it on a homemade gluten free pizza base! It is delicious.
My little niece, Alexandra, gobbles this up and asks for more. I promise, your kids will too. You can’t tell for a moment that it is packed with vegetables! I like to use carrots, broccoli, and zucchini. But you could use any veggies that you have on hand.
The secret to making a deep rich-flavored tomato sauce is using a variety of tomatoes – fresh, canned, and sun-dried tomatoes blended together yields fabulous results. It is literally child’s play. I like to add a tiny bit of sweetener to boost all of the flavors.
his freezes really well, and I always like to have some on hand in the freezer for those quick last minute meals!
Cook up some homemade gluten free pasta (I freeze that too) and you have a quick, easy, nutritious “seemingly fun” meal anyone can enjoy.
Other Pasta Recipes:
- “Sneak the Veggies” Vegan Mac N Cheese
- Zucchini Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes
- Veggie “Meatballs” for Pasta
“Hide The Veggies” Tomato Pasta/Pizza Sauce
Makes about 10 cups of sauce
- 8 medium ripe tomatoes seeded and cut into quarters
- 1 large sweet red pepper cut into large chunks
- 2 15 oz can organic diced tomatoes including the juice
- 2 cups organic yellow/brown onion (about 2 medium)
- 2 cups vegetable stock / broth (I use Massel vegetable stock cubes)
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup shredded broccoli stalks / broccoli slaw
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes
- ¼ cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1 ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
- Preheat oven to 200 / 400 degrees
- Toss the sweet pepper and tomato with the ¼ cup olive oil and tsp of salt.
- Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about an hour.
- Give them a good toss a couple of times during the cooking time to get an even roast.
- In a large pot sauté the onions, garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a ½ tsp of sea salt for about 10 minutes until just translucent.
- Add in the carrots, broccoli and zucchini and sauté for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Add in the tinned tomatoes, roasted tomatoes and peppers and their juices, the vegetable broth, fresh basil, and sundried tomatoes and bring to the boil.
- Reduce to a simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the flavours have had time to infuse.
- Allow to cool.
- Then puree in batches in your blender (I use a Vitamix) until smooth.
- Enjoy over pasta or vegetables. YUMMO!
Freeze for later use if desired.
What’s YOUR favourite pasta sauce recipe?
Tess Masters, AKA “The Blender Girl” writes a quirky blog called Healthy Blender Recipes, sharing super quick and easy allergy friendly vegetarian, vegan, and raw recipes using a blender, mixer or food processor. All of her healthy recipes are gluten free, and utilise whole foods and natural flavourings and sweeteners. Many of the recipes are also dairy free, egg free, nut free, and soy free. You can search for recipes for specific diets or food allergies by using the handy clickable icons on her website.
Read all of Tess’ posts here.