As parents, we sometimes try to have recipes in our rotation that can be made quickly, thawed or warmed up. Once you make a batch of these ABC Os, you’ll never go back and buy the canned stuff! YUCK-O!
I have a love affair with my immersion blender. It lets me puree hot soups and hide veggies in sauces without the hassle of cooling and moving it to a blender.
As a busy mom, I don’t always have the time to wait for things to cool enough to transfer to the blender and all that. Plus, with two extremely picky eaters, tomato sauce is the easiest place to hide veggies without them noticing. Call it a nutrition packed sauce if you must, but the point is the same: lots of veggies hidden in tomato sauce kids will love and nobody complains.
See how easy it is? Seriously. Make the sauce, blend and add cooked pasta.
This recipe has been such a hit with my kids that I finally included it in our MOMables menus.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped (optional)
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
- 16 oz bag of ABC pasta, shells or macaroni, cooked
- Add all ingredients in a crockpot for 4-6 hours on low.
- With an immersion blender, puree sauce. You might have to add a bit of water until you have the traditional sauce consistency you like.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, celery, onions and garlic. Sauté until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, puree with an immersion hand blender (or in a regular blender) until almost smooth.
- Return sauce to the heat and simmer until thick, 10-20 minutes. The longer you simmer this sauce the thicker and more flavorful it will become. You can simmer up to 2 hours