Creamy carrot pasta is a mildly sweet and flavourful dish that makes a great meal for kids. This pasta with carrot sauce recipe is easy to make with a few pantry ingredients and the delicious carrot sauce has a magical power to even appeal to the pickiest kid to eat their meals without any fuss.
Like many pasta dishes that have a base sauce, this creamy pasta dish has a hidden vegetable sauce which is a great way to increase kid's vegetable intake.
This carrot pasta and pasta with hidden vegetable sauce make an ideal meal for picky kids who have trouble eating vegetables due to their texture or colour or for any other reasons. The smooth vegetable sauce not only enhances the taste of the pasta, but the smooth texture makes it more interesting.
The best part of this easy carrot pasta is that you can make a big batch of sauce and store it in a freezer to use later in a week or a month. Whenever you plan to make pasta, just thaw the sauce, mix it with pasta and season with salt and pepper if necessary. It not only saves time but also fixes a quick midweek dinner.
For Carrot Sauce
Spices: ground cumin, salt and pepper are the essential spices used in this simple sauce.
Vegetables: I've used fresh vegetables-carrot, tomato, garlic. You may use tinned tomatoes or tomato puree. Ensure to check the salt and add accordingly as the tinned tomatoes contain salt.
Liquids: oil and water are the two liquids required to make this sauce. I've used olive oil to enhance the flavour of the sauce.
Pasta: I've used penne pasta. You can use any shape pasta that you like.
Liquids: sufficient water to boil pasta, little oil to cook sauce and pasta.
Seasonings: I've used an Italian herb mix to flavour the pasta. Feel free to use dried, oregano, basil or whatever herb you have in hand. A little salt is required to add to boiling water while cooking pasta.
Cheese: grated cheddar cheese has been used in this recipe. You may use any cheese of your choice.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make carrot sauce?
The creamy yummy carrot pasta sauce is made with a few ingredients and is ready quickly. Carrots and tomatoes are cooked until soft, seasoned with ground cumin, salt, pepper and then blended with soaked cashews until smooth.
Soak cashews for 15-20 minutes in warm water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium-low heat.
Once the oil is hot, add tomatoes, carrots, garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Keep stirring regularly to avoid vegetables from sticking to the bottom of a pan.
Add cumin powder, salt, pepper and mix well. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely.
Drain the water from the soaked cashews and keep it aside.
In a blender, add the cashews, vegetables, water and grind it to a smooth puree.
Transfer the sauce to a bowl.
How to make carrot pasta?
In a steel pot, add sufficient water to cook the pasta and bring it to a rolling boil on medium-high heat.
Add salt, 1 teaspoon oil, pasta and mix well.
Reduce the heat slightly and cook pasta for 3-4 minutes or until the pasta is well done.
Drain the water from pasta over a colander. Shake the colander to drain off any excess water and keep the pasta aside.
In a pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add ¾ cup carrot sauce over medium heat.
Add Italian herb mix, cheese and cook for a minute or just until cheese melts.
Add the pasta and mix until well combined.
Taste and add salt and pepper if required.
Serve this delicious and creamy carrot pasta immediately.
A dash of lemon juice adds a slight zing and enhances the flavour of the sauce.
A small onion adds a lovely flavour. Sauté it along with carrots.
A few chopped basil leaves or finely chopped parsley make a fabulous addition, sprinkle it on the top of pasta just before serving.
A few chopped red peppers enrich the colour of the pasta. Sauté them along with the carrots and blend.
I've used a fabulous Italian herb mix that contains basil, thyme, oregano and rosemary. You may add just one herb that you have in hand instead of this herb mix.
Feel free to swap cheddar cheese with any cheese that you like.
Substitute water with vegetable stock or almond milk while making carrot sauce to make it healthier and for extra flavour.
Tips and Tricks
Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and immediately add cold water over the pasta in the colander to prevent it from cooking further and sticking to each other.
Generally, it is not necessary to add any water while cooking the vegetables as the moisture from the tomatoes is enough to cook carrots. But if you feel the moisture has completely evaporated and vegetables begin to stick to the base of the pan then splash a little water, stir and continue to cook.
If you are using sour tomatoes add a small spoon of sugar to balance the sourness.
While blending the vegetables and cashews, add a little more water if required to make the blending process easier.
Chop the carrots into small chunks to speed up the cooking process. The smaller the carrots are chopped, the quicker they get cooked.
Use a high-power blender to make carrot sauce as it has to be blended into a smooth sauce. The texture contributes to the taste, colour and flavour of the pasta.
Add a spoon of red chilli flakes if you plan to serve pasta to older kids or adults.
The ground cumin adds an earthy flavour and aroma to the dish. Leave it out if your child doesn’t like the flavour.
Add or reduce the sauce based on your child’s preference. Add more sauce if your kids like their pasta to be soft and smooth. Reduce sauce if your child likes a bit dry and crunchy pasta.
Adjust seasoning to suit your child’s taste buds.
Fridge: Carrot sauce stays good for 2-3 days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight container.
Freezer: You can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Divide the carrot sauce into desired portions and freeze them in an ice cube tray or small freezer-friendly containers.
This pasta with carrot sauce makes a healthy midweek meal to serve the whole family.
If you are not interested in storing the sauce to use later then there are quite a few interesting ways to use up this versatile pasta sauce.
Use it up as a healthy spread on toast or sandwich. You can use it as a healthy base sauce for bread pizza or vegetable flatbread pizza.
This vegetable sauce also makes a great spread on vegetable wraps too.
No, it's not vegan as cheddar cheese has been used. However, this carrot pasta recipe can be made vegan by swapping cheddar cheese with plant-based cheese.
Yes, you can store the leftover pasta that's tossed in the sauce if you do not intend to consume it in a couple of days. In fact, freezing is a better option than waste.
Thaw and reheat in an oven until piping hot before consuming it.
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Pasta with Carrot Sauce
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
For Carrot Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- ¼ cup (or) 43 gms Cashews
- 1 cup (or) 153 gms Carrots 2 medium size, diced
- ¾ cup (or) 122 gms Tomatoes 1 large
- 2 cloves Garlic
- Salt as required
- ½ Teaspoon Crushed Pepper
- ½ Teaspoon Cumin powder/ground cumin
- ½ cup Water
- 1.5 cups (or) 145 gms Pasta
- Water to cook pasta
- Salt as required
- 1 +1 Teaspoon Olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon Italian Herb Mix
- 3 Tablespoon (or) 15 gms Cheddar Cheese grated
To make Pasta Sauce
- Soak cashews in warm water for 15 minutes.¼ cup (or) 43 gms Cashews
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium-low heat.1 Tablespoon Oil
- Once the oil is hot, add tomatoes, carrots, garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes or until carrots are soft. Keep stirring regularly to avoid vegetables sticking at the bottom of a pan or burning them.1 cup (or) 153 gms Carrots, ¾ cup (or) 122 gms Tomatoes, 2 cloves Garlic
- Add cumin powder, salt, pepper and mix well. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely.Salt, ½ Teaspoon Cumin powder/ground cumin, ½ Teaspoon Crushed Pepper
- Drain the water from soaked cashews and keep it aside.
- In a blender, add cashews, vegetables, water and grind it to a smooth puree.½ cup Water
- Transfer the sauce to a bowl.
To make Pasta
- In a steel pot, add sufficient water to cook pasta and bring it to a rolling boil on medium-high heat.Water
- Add salt, 1 teaspoon oil, pasta and mix well.Salt, 1 +1 Teaspoon Olive oil, 1.5 cups (or) 145 gms Pasta
- Reduce the heat slightly and cook pasta for 3-4 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Drain the water from pasta over a colander. Shake the colander to drain off any excess water and keep the pasta aside.
- In a pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil and add ¾ cup carrot sauce over medium heat.1 +1 Teaspoon Olive oil
- Add Italian herb mix, cheese and cook for a minute or just until cheese melts.1 Teaspoon Italian Herb Mix, 3 Tablespoon (or) 15 gms Cheddar Cheese
- Add pasta and mix until well combined.
- Taste and add salt and pepper if required.
- Serve delicious and healthy pasta immediately.