You like the title of this post – Super Healthy Tomato Pasta Sauce? You’re probably wondering what makes this tomato sauce super healthy? Isn’t tomato sauce naturally healthy since it’s made with a lot of tomatoes? You’re right – most tomato sauces are already on the healthier side, but I have bumped up the nutrition in this tomato pasta sauce even more by adding lots of vegetables to this sauce. I bet you can’t tell.
Although my kids have gotten so much better about eating vegetables over the years, it’s always a bit tricky when their friends eat at our house. Most of them don’t eat more than one or two vegetables or fruits. One friend said he “hates vegetables” and only eats carrots and celery. Another friend who stayed with us for four days recently said he eats two vegetables (edamame and broccoli) and one fruit (apples).
So, I challenged myself to figure out a way to make something that these boys would eat that was healthy and delicious without them noticing all the vegetables they were actually eating. Kids love pasta, so I figured that was an easy place to start. A few weeks ago, I made a Healthier Meat Sauce that was actually chock full of vegetables and fed it to my kids and their friends – they devoured it, thinking they ate some real meat sauce.
This time around, I made a tomato pasta sauce that was souped up with lots of fresh vegetables, and pureed them right into the sauce – packed with carrots, celery, mushrooms and red bell pepper. I’ve been using this Super Healthy Tomato Pasta Sauce in place of regular tomato sauce in Spaghetti with Meatballs, Baked Ziti, on top of pizzas and on Chicken Parmigiana. The boys (and their friends) haven’t noticed a thing ;).
- 1½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, pureed in a food processor with all the juices
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until onions are softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree sauce. Season with salt and pepper.