Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
This Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce is a great way to get even the pickiest of eaters to eat their veggies! Filled with tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, leeks and red peppers, this sauce is full of nutrient-dense veggies all while still tasting like a delicious homemade tomato sauce.
Servings: 4 cups
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 1/2 leek, approximately 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 cups of water, veggie or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp Italian herb mix
- 2 tbsp butter (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp sugar or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large stockpot over medium heat, add in the olive oil. Stir in the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add in the garlic, stir, and cook for an additional minute.
Add in the zucchini, carrots, leek and peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, Italian herbs, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and butter if you are using. Adjust heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once you reach a boil, bring down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes.
Using a handheld immersion blender puree the soup. Or working in batches, transfer the sauce into a blender and puree on high until you achieve your desired consistency. If your sauce is too thick, add in water or stock in 1/2 cup increments. I used 2 cups of chicken stock in my sauce. Taste: depending on how many veggies you use (the more veggies the more intense veggie flavor), you may need to add in additonal olive oil, salt or sugar depending on the taste of your sauce.
Age: 9 months and up, great for picky toddlers
Storage: This sauce can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost - take the sauce out of the freezer and put it into the fridge 1-2 days before you want to use it. If you are in a rush, you can always take it out of the freeze, place into a sink full of hot water for 15 minutes before placing the sauce into a saucepan and reheating it on the stove. It will still be a lump of sauce but as it gets hot it will thin out.
Note on Veggie: you can use