Here are two things I’ve learned while spending time with kids. 1) Not all kids eat their vegetables. 2) Almost all kids love pasta. With those two facts in mind, I wanted to create a recipe for pasta sauce that snuck in as many veggies as possible – for those moments when little ones decide to be picky and ignore the broccoli I put on their plate.
I’ve put a wide assortment of veggies in the recipe below, but the truth is you can add almost any veggie you want. This recipe is particularly helpful when you have a fridge full of vegetables about to hit their best by date.
In this recipe, I decided to use carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, red bell peppers and tomatoes. Carrots serve as a great source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K and manganese. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, and potassium (yum). Zucchini, also known as a courgette, is a green-skinned summer squash that are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Mushrooms are a great source of omega-6 fatty acids (great for brain function and the healthy promotion of growth and development), as well as B vitamins and copper. I chose to use red bell peppers because they’re the sweetest, but you can use any color you have on hand – they’re all delicious and an amazing source of Vitamin C, amongst other nutrients. Finally, tomatoes – the key ingredient to any red sauce. They’re high in vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
This sauce checks off so many boxes, it’s kind of a multi-vitamin in pasta sauce form. Pretty great. And if you want to add some protein into this sauce, cook up a package of organic ground beef or organic ground turkey and just add it into the sauce. Yum 😋
From Our Kitchen: Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
The perfect way to make your pasta sauce as nutrient dense as possible.
2 tablespoons olive
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1-28 oz can organic diced tomatoes
2-15 oz can organic tomato sauce
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- In a large saucepan, combine olive oil and onion, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until onions begin to soften.
- Add in dice carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper, and sauté for 7-8 minutes, until the vegetables have begun to soften. You can place a lid on the pot to speed up this process.
- Once the vegetables are mostly soft, add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and serve immediately over pasta, or blend the sauce in a blender until smooth, and then serve over pasta.