The Best Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce Two Ways

This sauce is a staple recipe in our house and something that I always have in the freezer.  I tend not to cook many recipes specifically for Little Whisk, in our house we all eat the same, but I do like to know that she is getting as much veg in her diet as possible.  Extra veg for any of us is a good thing, and so where I used to make a simple tomato sauce to include in many recipes I now tend to substitute for this sauce that includes extra veggies.  More and more I find that we are eating a meat-free diet during the week and Italian food is always a favourite, so here are two tasty options using my Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce. 

Vegetable lasagne with my Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce

Vegetable lasagne with my Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce


Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce

This makes a quite a big batch, enough for both recipes below.


2 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Onion, diced

2 Cloves of garlic, crushed

1 Courgette, finely chopped

2 Carrots, finely chopped

2 Tbsp Tomato puree

2 Tins of chopped tomatoes

1/2 Tsp Dried basil

1/2 Tsp Dried oregano

1 Tbsp Soft brown sugar

200ml Vegetable stock

A good glug of balsamic vinegar

A knob of butter



  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes until it starts to soften.  Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.  
  2. Add the chopped courgette and carrot, stir well and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, herbs, and sugar.  Stir well and heat until simmering.  Cover and allow to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until all the veg is very soft.  Check regularly and if it is getting too dry add some more stock.
  4. After 1 1/2 hours remove from the heat and blend using a hand blender, being careful not to splash yourself with hot sauce.  
  5. To finish it off stir in a good glug and a knob of butter.  Season to taste.
Veggie lasagne_2.jpg


5 Veg Lasagne

Serves 4 


700g Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce

2 Tbsp Olive oil

2 Aubergines, sliced lengthways into approx. 0.5cm thick slices

1 Courgette, sliced lengthways into approx. 0.5cm thick slices

120g Spinach

2 Tbsp Ricotta

12 - 15 Lasagne sheets


Cheese Sauce:

20g Butter

25g Plain flour

100g Mature cheddar cheese, grated

250ml Milk

Veggie lasagne_3.jpg


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Firstly prepare the aubergine slices by brushing lightly with olive oil and grilling on both sides until starting to turn golden.
  3. Heat one tbsp of olive oil in a pan and saute the spinach until wilted.  Stir in the ricotta and season with some S&P.
  4. Make the cheese sauce - I normally cheat at making cheese sauce and don't make a roux! Put the butter, flour, and cheese in a pan, stir well.  Add the milk and heat slowly stirring constantly until the sauce reaches the boiling point and has thickened.
  5. Now you are ready to construct the lasagne by layering up the different elements in the following order:
    1. Pasta
    2. Aubergine slices
    3. Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce
    4. Pasta
    5. Cheese sauce
    6. Courgette slices
    7. Spinach and ricotta mixture
    8. Pasta
    9. Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce
    10. Aubergine slices
    11. Pasta
    12. Cheese Sauce
    13. Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 45 minutes until the pasta is cooked and the lasagne is golden on top.
Sweet potato and ricotta gnocchi

Sweet potato and ricotta gnocchi

Sweet Potato & Ricotta Gnocchi with Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce

Serves 6


Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Recipe taken from*)

2 Medium sweet potatoes

120g Ricotta

1 Large egg

240g Plain flour, plus some extra if needed

1/2 Tsp Salt 

Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce - recipe above


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes and prick the skin in a few places with a fork.  Bake the potatoes in the oven for about 45 minutes, until soft and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. When the potatoes are cool cut them in half and scoop out the flesh, mash with a fork or a potato masher until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, ricotta, egg, salt, and flour.  Stir the mixture until just combined. If the dough seems wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it can be formed into a ball. The dough should be sticky.
  5. Generously flour a clean counter and scrape the dough out onto the counter. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a rope about 1 inch thick and cut into bite-size pieces. Repeat this process with the other pieces of dough and place the gnocchi on a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour. At this point, the gnocchi can be kept, covered in the fridge for up to 1 day and then boiled just before you are ready to eat.  If you have a ridged gnocchi board you can use this to roll the pieces of gnocchi but this is not essential.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the top and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Stir gently into the heated sauce and serve drizzled with a little olive oil and topped with some grated parmesan.  




*The recipe for the gnocchi is taken from a wonderful blog that I follow, you should check it out.