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7 Veggie-Packed Pasta Sauces

Roasted Red Pepper and Parsnip Sauce with Parmesan and Basil

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon dried basil flakes

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small jar (6 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cooked pasta

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Add onions and saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add parsnips, cayenne, and basil and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and salt, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, until parsnips have completely softened.

2. Let mixture cool slightly and add roasted peppers and Parmesan. Using an immersion blender, blend until no chunks remain. (Or blend in two batches in a blender for about 2 to 3 minutes.) Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Serve over freshly cooked pasta and top with basil.

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Sauce with Fresh Oregano

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, chopped into florets

2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 whole garlic bulb

3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon pepper mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon zest)

Juice of 1/2 large lemon

Cooked pasta

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Toss cauliflower, onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl, then transfer to a greased baking sheet. Peel away outer papery layers of garlic bulb, leaving skins of individual cloves intact. Slice 1/4 inch off the top of the cloves, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and place cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast veggies and garlic for 40 minutes.

2. Heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Add roasted vegetables and garlic and stock. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Let mixture cool slightly, then, using an immersion blender, blend until no chunks remain. (Or blend in two batches in a blender for about 2 to 3 minutes.) Add lemon pepper and lemon juice and stir well. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Serve over freshly cooked pasta and top with oregano.

Asparagus, Green Pea, and Lemon Sauce with Mint

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped

2 bunches asparagus, chopped

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Zest of 1 large lemon

Cooked pasta

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Add onions and saute for 6 to 7 minutes, until light brown. Add asparagus and cauliflower and stir for 5 minutes. Add stock and salt, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.

2. Let mixture cool slightly, then, using an immersion blender, blend until no chunks remain. (Or blend in two batches in a blender for about 2 to 3 minutes.) Return sauce to the pot over medium heat and add peas, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through.

3. Remove from heat and add Dijon and lemon zest, stirring well. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Serve over freshly cooked pasta and top with fresh mint.

Roasted Beet Sauce with Tarragon and Feta

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

6 medium beets, peeled and cubed

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

3 red onions, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika or chili powder

2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of 1/2 small lemon

Cooked pasta

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Toss beets, carrot, onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl and transfer to a greased baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.

2. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Add roasted vegetables, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add stock, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Let mixture cool slightly and add lemon juice. Using an immersion blender, blend until no chunks remain. (Or blend in two batches in a blender for about 2 to 3 minutes.) Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Serve over freshly cooked pasta and top with tarragon and feta cheese.

Spicy Sweet Potato andSpinach Sauce

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium red onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Salt to taste

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Cooked pasta

1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Add onions and saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, chilies, and cumin powder and stir for 1 minute. Toss sweet potato and carrots into pot and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and salt, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes have completely softened.

2. Let mixture cool slightly, then, using an immersion blender, blend until no chunks remain. (Or blend in two batches in a blender for about 2 to 3 minutes.) Return sauce to the pot and add spinach, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through.

3. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, stirring well. Season with additional salt, if desired.

4. Serve over freshly cooked pasta and top with a spoonful of yogurt for added creaminess.

Squash Sauce with Toasted Walnuts and Fried Sage

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

3 cups cooked, pureed butternut squash (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

10 to 12 sage leaves

Oil for frying

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cooked pasta

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Once oil is hot, add onions and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add cumin and chili powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add squash, stock, and salt, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

2. While sauce is simmering, fry sage leaves in a little olive oil over high heat for 45 seconds until crispy. Set aside.

3. Once sauce is ready, add lemon juice and additional salt and pepper, if desired. If sauce is too thick, add stock until it reaches desired consistency. Mix well.

4. Serve sauce over freshly cooked pasta and garnish with sage leaves and walnuts.

Tomato and Roasted Fennel Sauce with Goat Cheese

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Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

2 medium red onions, roughly chopped

2 fennel bulbs, stalks and core removed, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 whole garlic bulb

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 jar (24 ounces) tomato pasta sauce

Cooked pasta

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Toss onions, fennel, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl, then transfer to a greased baking sheet. Peel away outer papery layers of garlic bulb, leaving skins of individual cloves intact. Slice 1/4 inch off the top of the cloves, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and place cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast veggies and garlic for 40 minutes.

2. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or saucepan. Add smoked paprika, oregano, and basil and stir gently for 30 seconds. Add pasta sauce and roasted vegetables and garlic, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Let mixture cool slightly, then, using an immersion blender, blend until no chunks remain. (Or blend in two batches in a blender for about 2 to 3 minutes.) Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Serve sauce over freshly cooked pasta and top with crumbled goat cheese.