A simple tomato pasta sauce packed with hidden veggies
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 2 courgettes, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1.5kg / 3.3lbs passata
- 500ml / 2 cups veg stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tsp paprika
- optional: handful of fresh basil leaves
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another minute before adding the carrots, celery, courgette and red pepper.
- Pour in the veg stock and passata and stir well. Add the tomato puree, dried herbs and paprika and bring to the boil.
- Simmer on a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. If you want to add the fresh basil leaves do so when the vegetables are soft.
- Remove from the heat and blitz either with a hand blender or in an upright blender until smooth.
- Pour the sauce into jars, containers or freezer bags and allow to cool before refrigerating or freezing.
If at any point the sauce consistency is too thick, simply add some extra veg stock or water to thin it down. The same applies after it has been defrosted as sometimes it may be a bit thicker.
The very fine flecks of green in the sauce are the fresh basil leaves which I added at the end. If your kids really hate the sight of any green then you can easily leave these out!