Pasta with carrot sauce is a creamy, mildly sweet and flavourful dish that makes a great meal for kids. Like many pasta dishes that have a base sauce, this dish has a hidden vegetable sauce which is a great way to up vegetable intake for a child’s meal. This recipe is easy to make with a few ingredients and the silky smooth carrot sauce has a magical power to appeal even the pickiest kid to eat their meals without any fuss.
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This carrot pasta makes an ideal meal for kids who usually don't like carrots as they never get to know there are carrots in pasta. Alternatively, let kids involve in cooking tasks and let them help you while cooking which encourages them to try a new food or something they never liked before.
My picky daughter Samyu who generally doesn't like most of the vegetables and fruits liked this dish a lot the very 1st time I made it along with her. Nowadays this carrot pasta makes a regular appearance on our dinner table. My little girl had an immense satisfaction in helping me in the kitchen and had a sense of achievement whenever I let her do most of the cooking part rather than just measuring the ingredients. Earlier Samyu never liked to eat fruits until I came up with an open-faced sandwich idea. Samyu enjoyed making funny animal faces and eventually started eating fruits. At present, her most favourite activity on holidays is cooking and she feels very proud whenever she shows her cooking videos to her friends! Samyu loves to make her food such as Bread Pizza, Strawberry Yogurt Bark, Watermelon Slushie, Yogurt Fruit Dip.
How to make carrot sauce
The creamy yummy carrot pasta sauce is made with a few ingredients. Carrots and tomatoes are cooked until soft, seasoned with ground cumin, salt, pepper and then blend with cashews until smooth.
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.
This carrot pasta sauce is so versatile that it can be used as a healthy spread on toast or sandwich. You can use it as a healthy base sauce for pizza. This sauce makes a great spread on chapati or tortilla wrap too.
Carrot sauce recipe variations
Substitute water with vegetable stock or almond milk while making carrot puree to make it healthier and to add some flavour.
A dash of lemon juice adds a slight zing and enhances the flavour of the sauce.
You may cook a small onion along with carrots to add extra flavour.
Few chopped basil leaves or finely chopped parsley make a lovely addition, sprinkle it on the top of pasta.
You may add a few chopped red peppers to enrich the colour of pasta.
Watch how to make carrot pasta
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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 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.
Soak cashews for 15-20 minutes in warm water.
Meanwhile, cook tomato, carrot and garlic until the carrot turns soft.
Add crushed pepper, salt and ground cumin to cooked vegetables, cook for a minute and turn off the heat.
Blend cooked vegetables, soaked cashews with water in a blender until smooth.
Cook pasta in a pot of hot water with little salt and oil.
Add mixed herbs, cheese to carrot sauce, cook just until cheese melts and sauce is nice and thick.
Combine cooked pasta with sauce.
Yummy and creamy pasta with carrot sauce is ready to enjoy!
Tips & Tricks to make perfect carrot pasta
Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and immediately add cold water over pasta in the colander to avoid them cooking further and sticking to each other.
Generally, it is not necessary to add any water while cooking vegetables as the moisture from tomatoes is enough to cook carrots. But if you feel the moisture has completely evaporated and vegetables begin to stick to the bottom 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 vegetables and cashews, add little more water if required.
Chop the carrot into small chunks to fast up the cooking process. The smaller the carrot is chopped, quicker they get cooked.
Use high power blender to make carrot sauce as 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 adults.
The ground cumin adds the 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.
Divide the leftover carrot sauce into small portions and freeze them in an ice cube tray or small freezer-friendly containers.
Adjust seasoning to suit your child’s taste buds.
I've used a fabulous Italian herb mix that contains basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary. You may add any dried Italian herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme or anything you have in hand instead of this herb mix.
Carrot sauce keeps good for 2-3 days in the fridge but you can store in the freezer for up to a month.
Feel free to swap cheddar cheese with any cheese that you like.
More quick and easy weeknight dinner ideas:
Pasta with Carrot Sauce
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml
For Carrot Sauce
- 1 tbsp Oil
- ¼ cup (43 gms) Cashews
- 1 cup (153 gms) Carrots 2 medium size, diced
- ¾ cup (122 gms) Tomatoes 1 large
- 2 cloves Garlic
- Salt as required
- ½ tsp Crushed Pepper
- ½ tsp Cumin powder/ground cumin
- ½ cup Water
- 1.5 cups (145 gms) Pasta
- Water to cook pasta
- Salt as required
- 1 +1 tsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian Herb Mix
- 3 tbsp (15 gms) Cheddar Cheese grated
To make Pasta Sauce
- Soak cashews in warm water for 15 minutes.
- 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 carrots are soft. Keep stirring regularly to avoid vegetables sticking at the bottom of a pan or burning them.
- Add cumin powder, salt, pepper and mix well. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely.
- Drain the water from soaked cashews and keep it aside.
- In a blender, add cashews, vegetables, water and grind it to a smooth puree.
- 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.
- Add salt, 1 tsp oil, pasta and mix well.
- Reduce the heat slightly and cook pasta for 3-4 minutes or until 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 tsp oil and ass ¾ cup carrot sauce over medium heat.
- Add Italian herb mix, cheese and cook for a minute or just until cheese melts.
- Add pasta and mix until well combined.
- Taste and add salt and pepper if required.
- Serve delicious and healthy pasta immediately.
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KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this creamy carrot pasta. I love to get feedback from readers.