Looking for an easy marinara sauce that is filled with plenty of veggies for you and your kids? My good friend shared her pasta sauce recipe with me that she makes for her family. Shauna Bryant is a proud mama to two adorable boys– she is the master of serving veggies on the plate for her kids. But she’s not afraid to give those veggies a whirl in the blender for a deceptively delicious spaghetti meal.
So if the photo of the wooden spoon and homemade sauce has inspired you, let’s start cooking!
Veggie Pasta Sauce Recipe
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 bell pepper, chopped
*Plus any veggies you like
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar (any kind – brown sugar, maple syrup, honey)
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onions until soft and translucent. Add a little salt and pepper. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds. Add bell peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add any veggies here that you like (yellow squash, zucchini, celery, mushrooms, etc.). Add tomatoes (And a little liquid depending on thickness of your tomatoes. Use water, wine or stock.)
Scrape the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon to get all the goodies off. Bring just to a boil and turn heat down to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes. Taste sauce and add sugar, salt, and pepper if necessary. If sauce is thick, add additional liquid just until desired consistency.
Once flavors have cooked for 15 minutes, put sauce in a blender and give it a few zaps to get it the consistency you like (this is why this sauce is so good because you can sneak in lot of veggies). Return sauce to pan on low and season to taste. Serve with whole wheat pasta noodles or brown rice pasta.
Note: If you like meat sauces, you can add a half pound of ground turkey, pork, beef or chicken in a separate pan. Sauté meat with a small onion and garlic and some dried spices (basil, oregano, red pepper flakes). Leave in a separate pan and add tomato mixture after you’ve blended it. You don’t want to blend the meat or it’ll be a weird texture.
The benefits of making homemade pasta sauce is you get to pack in as much vegetables as you want and control how much sugar you add to the sauce– unlike a store-bought sauce. And you can store leftover sauce in reusable mason jars.
Buon appetito … ciao!
P.S., This veggie pasta sauce has been approved by my four-year old daughter. Are you a “sneak” the veggies in kind of cook, or do you want your kids to see the vegetable in all it’s glory on the plate?