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Pasta with tomato & hidden veg sauce

Pasta with tomato & hidden veg sauce

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 50 mins


Serves 4

Get your family to eat more veg with this superhealthy pasta sauce recipe which counts as 5 of your 5-a-day. The sauce is freezable too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze sauce only
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal381
  • fat3g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre8g
  • protein14g
  • salt0.35g
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  • 1 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 celery sticks, chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 carrots, chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 leek, chopped



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 2 peppers, deseeded and chopped



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 tbsp each caster sugar and balsamic vinegar
  • 300g dried pasta shapes



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • parmesan, shaved, and rocket, to serve (optional)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and gently cook the onion, celery, carrots and leek until soft, about 20 mins. Add the peppers and cook for 10 mins more, then tip in the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Simmer for at least 20 mins – the longer the better.

  2. Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Meanwhile, blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth, season and return to the heat to keep warm while the pasta cooks. Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce. Serve in bowls topped with shaved Parmesan and rocket leaves, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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19th Nov, 2015
Just made it adding extra red beans and lemon juice instead of vinegar, very simple and delicious meal!
3rd Nov, 2015
Fantastic recipe, loved by all the family. I've made this again and again and often freeze it in small containers for quick healthy meals for my toddler when we've been out all day. He loves it! I often add fish or chicken to his too which works well.
23rd Apr, 2015
Just made this AGAIN! It is about my favourite recipe - with 4 oz red lentils added for extra goodness. Such a tasty supper meal.
29th Sep, 2015
Oohh, I like the idea of adding lentils, will make a note for next time!
9th Feb, 2015
Have been making a version of this for years, with lemon juice instead of vinegar and a couple of tins of tuna at the end. Even better.
13th Sep, 2014
I think this recipe is a wonderful way to increase the veggie intake of kids and adult veg fearers alike, but it concerns me slightly that the BBC Good Food site is giving misleading information on vegetable portion sizes. This recipe will not provide 4 people with 5 portions of veg. According to the NHS Live well site 1 medium onion is 1 portion So you need at least 2 onions to give one portion each (presuming the onions are really large). 1 portion of celery is 3 sticks, so this would need to contain a whopping 12 sticks of celery for 4 people. 1 leek (white part) is 1 portion - so presuming you chuck out the green part (or use it in something else or bung it in this sauce - which is what I do) you either need 2 or 4 leeks. The 2 peppers are fine as half a pepper is 1 portion, and the tinned tomatoes actually exceed 1 portion per person - but that doesn't help much because only the first portion each day counts. You could live on tinned toms alone (though you wouldn't last long) but once you've exceeded 1 portion none of the others count towards 5 a day (or whatever the latest "a-day" count is). I am happy to admit that kids require smaller portion sizes so maybe that is what you meant - but I suggest you would do well to make that clear in the same place as you make the 5-a-day portion claims.
20th Aug, 2014
This sauce is just scrummy...I got my 2 boys to help and added some oregano. Made loads so I can freeze it.
17th Apr, 2014
This is so so good! I added two medium red chillies and it gave it a lovely kick.
michelle_30's picture
20th Mar, 2014
Mmm yummy! made this tonight and highly recommend! Easy to make but not as quick as id of liked but well worth the wait and large portions. Great for getting in 5 day! Try it
fayfumbs's picture
25th Jan, 2014
A very tasty, versatile sauce. Served it over pasta and homemade turkey meatballs. I wasn't going to blend it and leave it chunky, but it was a bit too thick. Glad I did blend it as the flavour was much better


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