Sauces are a great gateway-food to experiment with new spices! And kids love to help, too! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of kitchen experimentation. Homemade sauce can turn ordinary pasta into extraordinary meals; here are some of my favorite concoctions:
(Hidden Veggies) Tomato Sauce
This hearty, family-favorite is a delicious substitute for sauce and ricotta in your favorite lasagna recipe! Don’t get me wrong, I love ricotta, but sometimes I have to craftily help my family eat more vegetables. The broccoli and cauliflower in this sauce gives pasta dishes the same crumbly texture as baked ricotta!
Tomato Sauce Ingredients
2 cans tomato paste + ½ can water
1 Tb Olive oil
2 cups steamed cauliflower
2 cups steamed broccoli
2 Tb grated parmesan (or tofu parmesan)
Tomato Sauce Directions
1. Stir tomato paste, water, oil and seasoning in a large sauce pan over low heat.
2. Puree broccoli and cauliflower with a splash of warm water.
3. Add cheese to vegetable puree.
4. Combine vegetable puree with tomato sauce until the whole mixture is simmering.
5. Use in a baked pasta dish!
Spinach Basil “Pesto” Sauce
We are a nut-free house, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy some vibrant green sauce over our pasta and chicken.
“Pesto” Sauce Ingredients
2 cups fresh basil, washed
1 cup fresh baby spinach, washed
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
“Pesto” Sauce Directions
1. Finely chop basil and spinach.
2. Combine with oil and seasoning in a blender.
3. Blend until smooth.
4. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat to a simmer.
5. Ladle over pasta and chicken!
Black Pepper Alfredo Sauce
This thick, creamy sauce pairs perfectly with vegetable pasta! Spoon over noodles, or spinach stuffed cannelloni!
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients
¼ cup butter or margarine
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 cups milk
½ cup grated parmesan
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
½ tsp dried basil
Alfredo Sauce Directions
1. Melt butter with olive oil in a medium sauce pan over low heat.
2. Add cream cheese, whisking until smooth.
3. Add milk, whisking until smooth.
4. Stir in parmesan and seasoning, heat to a simmer.
5. Ladle over pasta!
More from my kitchen: Essential Baking Supplies List