Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serves Enough for 8 people
Tomato Basil Sauce recipe

In every kitchen there are some basic recipes we can whip out in a few minutes.  You know those nights when you’re just so exhausted, you can’t be bothered whipping up a storm?

Well this basic tomato sauce is a one pot dinner that can be ready in 20 minutes.

It’s one I always make in a large batches and freeze in individual glass jars.  If I have a crazy day I simply pull it out of the freezer in the morning, and all I need to do when I get home is boil the pasta.  Dinner is ready in 10 minutes.

I’ve made some variations to the traditional napoli sauce my mum taught me when I was a kid.  I pack some extra vegetables to create a  nourishing sauce and it makes it much creamier.  I hope you love it as much as my family does.

Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serves Enough for 8 people
Tomato Basil Sauce recipe


  • bottle tomato passata 2 cans fresh tomato
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 zucchini
  • handful of basil leaves
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Dice the onion in small pieces.  In a medium saucepan saute onion with two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until the onion start to brown.
  2. Slice carrots and zucchini into small pieces and toss into the saucepan and allow to brown and soften – about four minutes should be enough.
  3. Add the bottle of passata and a handful of fresh basil leaves.
  4. Add salt.
  5. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. I’m a huge fan of tasting as I go and encourage you to do the same. At the 20 minute mark taste for salt and make sure the tomato has a rich flavour.
  6. Once cooked blend thoroughly until you have created a smooth creamy sauce.
  7. Mix with your favourite pasta and top with your favourite Parmesan – dairy or vegan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of tomato passata for this sauce?

Yes, you can use canned tomatoes instead of tomato passata. If using canned tomatoes, it's recommended to use whole peeled tomatoes and crush them with your hands or a spoon as you add them to the saucepan. Simmer the sauce until the tomatoes break down and become saucy, then proceed with the recipe as usual.

Are there any other vegetables I can add to this hidden vegetable tomato sauce?

Absolutely! This recipe is versatile, and you can add other vegetables to boost the nutrition and flavour. Some options include bell peppers, celery, spinach, or grated zucchini. Feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand.

Can I make a larger batch of this sauce and freeze it for later use?

Yes, you can make a larger batch of this tomato sauce and freeze it for convenient future use. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Label and date them, and store them in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw and reheat the sauce as needed.

Can I use this sauce for dishes other than pasta?

Absolutely! While it's excellent for pasta, this versatile tomato sauce can be used in various dishes. You can use it as a base for homemade pizza, as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or mozzarella sticks, or as a sauce for rice dishes like risotto. Get creative and explore different culinary possibilities!

Is there a way to make this sauce spicier if I prefer a little heat?

Yes, you can add some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the sauce to give it a spicy kick. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference, and add it when you sauté the onions and other vegetables.