Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

My son Lucca loves broccoli, saag paneer, tomato sauce, and crunchy salad veggies.  Nothing else mushy, or even gently cooked in the vegetable realm will work for him.  I only require one bite of everything that's served, so most nights he either eats salad or foregoes a vegetable.  While I'm working on getting him to knowingly branch out, I'm also quite happy to slip him the varied vegetable whenever I can.  One of the best ways to hide the veggies is to remove their texture and color, and my latest favorite way of doing this is in the blender with tomato sauce.

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

1 14-ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 carrotts, diced
1 whole garlic clove
1 T olive oil
1 T salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2-3 sprigs oregano (I have oregano in a pot on the back porch, under the snow, it's still fresh and green!)
2-3 sprigs thyme (I keep thyme in a pot on the back porch too, totally dried out and brown but still full of flavor)

Heat the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent.  Add in carrots and zucchini and saute for another 5-10 minutes, until tender.  Add all of the other ingredients and cook until the veggies are soft, 20-30 minutes.  Remove the garlic clove and any sticks still attached to the herbs.  Pour into a blender or blend using a submersion blender.  Blend until completely smooth.  The zucchini has the added benefit of making the sauce slightly creamy.  Serve over any kind of pasta.  If  you want a little extra protein, you can saute ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey, or sliced italian sausage at this point and then cook it in the sauce for another 20-30 minutes.