Sometimes you just want to get vegetables in to your kids! This tasty hidden veg tomato sauce is a great way to sneak in and to use up leftover veg in a meal, by blitzing the mixture in a food processor until it is red and smooth. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare.
If you always have some tinned chopped tomatoes, garlic, stock cubes, tomato puree and dried herbs in the cupboard then you can just add whatever veg you have. Some veg such as carrots and broccoli can be grated raw and added, instead of frying them first. You can eat the hidden veg tomato sauce with pasta and grated cheese; with added tinned tuna and olives (after blitzing) and a jacket potato; or with tinned beans (e.g. cannelloni beans/chickpeas – added after blitzing and reheated) for homemade baked beans.
The sauce can also be frozen in freezer bags for up to three months, then defrosted overnight for a super simple meal the next day. The goodness and flavour will be retained, but bear in the mind the mixture will reduce down a bit in the freezer.
My kids absolutely love the sauce with cheese and pasta (oldest seen below trying to eat it as fast as he can), even though they would normally heartily reject half the veg it contains. But little do they know haha!
For an adult portion, simply put some of the mixture aside before blitzing it.
Hidden veg tomato sauce (enough for 4-6 portions)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (I use the value/basic range)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small
4 mushrooms, chopped
Few heads broccoli, chopped
Any leftover veg you want to use!
1 clove garlic, crushed/chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
Shake dried mixed herbs
1 stock cube, crumbled (I like OXO vegetable as it crumbles easily)
Gently fry the chopped veg with the garlic in some oil for about 7 minutes, until tender but cooked, stirring regularly. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, dried herbs and crumbled stock cube, stir well and heat for a further 2 minutes. Blitz in a food processor until smooth. Eat with pasta and cheese; tuna and a jacket potato; or tinned beans (added at the end).