Rich Tomato Sauce with hidden veggies

This versatile tomato sauce is so easy and the ingredients are easy on the pocket. I make it at least once a week, either as-is, over pasta, or added to braised mince for a great spaghetti bolognese. You can even use it as the tomato sauce base for tomato bredie (braised lamb tomato stew)! Plus tomatoes contain loads of antioxidants, and the hidden veggies are an extra bonus.


1 tin chopped tomatoes or tomato puree

1 small aubergine, chopped (optional)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 onion, finely chopped

2-3 carrots, grated and peeled

1 packet tomato paste

half cup of fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons sugar or chutney

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

salt and black pepper to taste

half teaspoon smoked paprika

water (empty tomato tin filled with water)

pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Olive oil


  1. Sweat onions until glossy and transparent.
  2. Add aubergine (if using it)and chilli and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add tin of tomatoes and all remaining ingredients, except basil and sugar/chutney.
  4. Simmer sauce on low heat until it turns a deep red colour, with tomatoes and carrots cooked away (approx 30-60 min). Stir occasionally as this sauce tends to burn as it thickens.The longer you can cook it, the richer the sauce.
  5. Finally add basil and sugar/chutney. For a smooth sauce, blitz in food processor for a few seconds (more palatable for fussy eaters!)

Hope your family will love this! Please give me feedback once you’ve tried it!


  1. great recipe. going to use this for my bolognase tonight for my fussy eater

  2. This sounds so delish. If only my DD wasnt allergic to tomatoes.

  3. @carmen: So what was the verdict? How was it received by said fussy eater?

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