Nutritious and Kid Friendly Pasta

With two kids under the age of five, it can be very challenging to prepare healthy meals the kids will actually eat. We all know how fussy our kids can be about eating their vegetables! I like to get creative and sneak veggies into some of their favorite foods in a way that they won’t even notice! The Italian in me loooves traditional pasta dishes, but with a healthy kick. There’s a great basic marinara sauce recipe I found on AllRecipes that’s very similar to the one my grandmother taught me to make. She adds a couple of secret ingredients I have been sworn to secrecy on, but trust me that this recipe is very similar and very delicious! I’ve modified the original recipe slightly to increase the health factor to my unsuspecting little ones. 😉

Marinara Sauce


  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 finely grated zucchini
  • 2 finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced mushrooms.


  1. In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce.
  3. Use grater attachment on food processor to grate the zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms. Add to tomato sauce.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve over whole wheat spaghetti noodles with lots of Parmesan cheese.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think! Once the vegetables have cooked in the tomato sauce it’s hard to taste or see them – your kids will be none the wiser!

Yours truly,