Sneak In The Veggies – Incredible Pasta Sauce

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Dairy Free
    Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
    Gluten Free
  • Egg Free
    Egg Free
  • Nut Free
    Nut Free
  • Soy Free
    Soy Free
  • Blender
  • Processor

I cannot believe I haven't shared my favorite tomato pasta sauce recipe until now. Just like the vegetable soup recipe I shared last week, I make this pasta sauce recipe so often for my niece, that I forget to post it! I was actually prompted to post this by one of my favorite readers, Eric, who wrote to me for some advice about how to sneak more vegetables into his son, Tony's diet. Tony was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 5, and at age of 10, has undergone almost 30 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Because of these procedures, Tony is extremely sensitive to certain flavors and doesn't eat a lot of vegetables.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Eric on the phone, in order to learn more about his lovely family. I was thrilled to learn that they had just purchased a blender which made my job a whole lot easier! I say this, because pureeing sauces, soups, smoothies, and batters are some of the quickest, easiest ways to sneak veggies into "greenphobic" children and adults. Really, Tony is no different than any child his age. Most children enjoy eating pizza, pasta, and sweet treats. So, I always start sneaking veggies into children by including vegetables into the foods that they enjoy eating the most. I don't know about you, but I don't know many children who don't enjoy pizza and pasta! So this pasta sauce is a fantastic option because it is loaded with hidden vegetables and tastes absolutely delicious! Furthermore, it doubles as a fantastic pizza sauce. Try it on a homemade pizza base!

I actually took inspiration for this sauce from Sandra's tomato soup. I swear I could drench anything I ate in that soup! After enjoying this soup more than a handful of times, I thought to myself, why not make a sauce out of it and fill it with vegetables? So, this fabulous homemade vegan tomato pasta pizza sauce was the result. My little niece, Alexandra, gobbles this up and asks for more. I promise, your kids will too. You can't tell for a moment it is packed with vegetables!

This recipe yields about 10 cups of pasta/pizza sauce. You could always halve this recipe if you don't have need for so much sauce. But this freezes really well, and I always like to have some on hand in the freezer for those quick last minute meals! Cook up some pasta (I freeze that too) and you have a quick, easy, nutritious "seemingly fun" meal the whole family can enjoy.

Tony, this one's for you!

Sneak In The Veggies – Incredible Pasta Sauce

Sneak In The Veggies – Incredible Pasta Sauce

Makes 10 Cups120 MINS
  • 8 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters

  • 1 red bell pepper, ribbed, seede, and cut into chunks

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup grated carrot 
  • 1 cup shredded broccoli stalks
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes and their juice

  • 2 cups vegetable broth 

  • 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone liner.

  2. Toss the tomatoes and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.

  3. Spread out in single layer on the baking sheet, and roast for about 1 hour. Toss them a few times during cooking so that they roast evenly.

  4. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

  5. Add in the carrots, broccoli and zucchini and sauté for a further 5 minutes until just softened.

  6. Add the roasted tomatoes and peppers and their juices, the canned tomatoes and their juices, the vegetable broth, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer partially covered for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.

  7. Allow to cool. Add in batches to your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.
  8. Return to the stove, and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to taste, and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy over pasta or vegetables.

Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak


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