I’ve said it before: my children have been picky eaters recently (shock, shock, horror!). I have no idea what triggered it, but it really bothers me. I had to find a way to make them less fussy. All I could think of was to get them more involved in the cooking process and our vegan pasta sauce is a new favourite at home!
Our allergy-friendly vegan pasta sauce recipe is one of the first meals Crevette and Beanie made completely from start to finish, with a little bit of help from Wriggly.
We started our cooking sessions when the children went back to school, and so far, they’ve all helped me with one evening meal every week. They decide in advance what they are going to make, and I encourage them to try and make things they haven’t made before, so they learn new skills and recipes. My thinking is that if they have fun with food and see the process from start to finish, using nice, wholesome ingredients, they can’t possibly refuse to eat their food, or they’re more likely to at least try a few mouthfuls.
So far, our cooking evenings have been a real success. The youngest two are only helping with bits like chopping and stirring, but the older two are cooking their meals under my supervision.
It makes them so proud they generally devour their dinner when it’s their turn to cook.
Pasta is always a winner in our house, every single time, so when Napolina challenged us to try their latest ingredients and create a recipe, I couldn’t say no!
The children and I decided to make a smooth sauce for a change (we have chorizo pasta every week or so).
We also challenged ourselves to create a recipe that would be allergy-friendly, so we’d exclude the Top 14 Allergens:
- cereals containing gluten: wheat, rye, barley, oats (if not gluten-free),
- celery and celeriac,
- tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, brazils, pistachios, macadamia nuts),
Napolina recently launched gluten free ‘Red Lentil’ and ‘Green Pea’ pasta, ready to use Canned Lentils and a range of Spray Olive Oils.
We used the oil (so convenient!),
Napolina passata and chopped tomatoes I already had in the cupboard
and gluten-free organic pasta as well as organic vegetables. It’s Organic September after all! We all had a soft spot for the ‘Red Lentil’ pasta. It is 100% organic and contains only Red Lentil flour. As well as being gluten-free, it’s a great source of protein and fibre. It also contributes to one of your five a day (win win!).
Although it’s best to let the sauce simmer for a long time to release all the flavours, this vegan pasta sauce really easy to make, versatile and full of goodness.
It’s the kind of sauce I cook in batch to make sure I always have a few tubs in the freezer so I can use it as a vegan pasta sauce, a base for lasagne, spaghetti and meatballs, or even vegetable soup.
I find it delicious on its own with pasta, but my children’s favourite way of eating it is with meatballs and cheese on top. With no further ado, here is the recipe!
Vegan Pasta Sauce with 10 Hidden Veg - Allergy-Friendly
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 leek trimmed
- 3 spring onions trimmed
- 1 courgette
- 1/4 butternut squash
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1/2 cauliflower
- 1 romano pepper
- 400 g tin Napolina chopped tomatoes
- 400 ml vegetable stock or water
- 390 g Napolina tomato passata
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Fleur de Sel or Maldon Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Peel, wash and chop all vegetables.
Place a casserole dish (or large saucepan) over a medium heat. Once warm, add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Fry the onion for 3 minutes. Add the carrot and fry for about 5 minutes before adding the leeks and spring onions.
Keep stirring with a wooden spoon as you fry the vegetables over a medium heat for another couple of minutes.
Add in the diced butternut squash and sweet potato. Fry for a further 5 minutes and add the cauliflower. Keep stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the pepper, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, passata and maple syrup. Season to taste. Cover, and cook on a low heat for an hour.
Blitz into a thick sauce then return to the heat, covered, for another hour.
Serve with Gluten Free ‘Red Lentil’ or ‘Green Pea’ pasta and top with fresh parsley.
Our vegan pasta sauce recipe is part of a #FreeFromHarvest recipe challenge I am taking part in with that some of my favourite foodie bloggers. Check out their take on ‘free from’ seasonal food:
The Intolerant Gourmand: GF DF Apple Crumble; Pumpkin Risotto
Easy Peasy Foodie: Peri Peri Chicken; Vegan Vegetable Korma
Mummy Tries: Three Tasty Beetroot Recipes
Julie’s Family Kitchen: GF Almond, Pear & Chocolate Cake
Dairy-Free Kids: Apple & Blackberry Crumble
The Adventures of an Allergy Mummy: Butternut Squash Soup with a Kick
Glutarama: Beetroot Brownie Cake
Paleo Crust: Roasted Squash & Ginger Soup
Disclosure: This recipe post was commissioned by Napolina, but I’ve always loved and bought their products. You can find the range here. All photos and opinions are my own.