There are ingredients I always have on hand, and others that I have to frequently make trips for. Fresh herbs never last in this house, especially basil, and I keep telling myself each year I am going to do an herb garden outside. Next year for sure! However, there are ingredients that I stock up on, such as canned tomatoes because I find I use them so much, the items never go bad. Usually I always have a ton on hand. Usually…
I ran out the other day. I knew I was getting low but I kept putting it off and before you knew it, BAM! No tomatoes. Since it is the winter months (basically,) I find the tomatoes at the grocery store pretty sparse in the flavour department (though I still grab a bundle every time I go.) Diced tomatoes are a bit more convenient for us right now, but I have to admit, the canned tomatoes my mom made from her garden are outstanding! I really need to motivate myself next year with my vegetable garden. She must have had over 25 tomato plants this year!
Since I had no tomatoes and I was craving a pasta sauce, I decided to approach a creative route and sub in carrots for the tomatoes! Delicious, easy carrot pasta sauce! We had a huge bag of carrots on hand (a nice hearty vegetable during the winter,) and they needed to be used up. I went to work, peeling 8 large carrots and slicing them into coins. I knew I wanted to roast them to bring out that delicious mellow flavour, and adding an onion and garlic was more along the lines of my traditional pasta sauce.
After roasting everything together, I pureed the veggies in my food processor with vegetable broth and created a nice puree. Mine was on the thicker side, but I liked the consistency as a change to the standard thinner tomato sauce. The best part is that this carrot pasta sauce can be made as a baby/toddler food. I know people are always looking for baby food recipes, so I am glad to help out!
- 8 large carrots
- 1 red onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth (plus more if you want a thinner sauce.)
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- Pasta of your choosing (I used cheese ravioli.)
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
- Slice carrots into coins. Chop the onion and combine with carrots in a large mixing bowl. Peel 5 garlic cloves but leave them whole. Add to carrots and toss with olive oil (adding more if necessary.) Season with salt, pepper, and basil.
- Spread onto baking sheet (you may need to use two trays if you find the vegetables are too cramped. Place into oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until veggies are nicely caramelized.
- Allow to cool slightly and move veggies to a food processor, working in batches. Each batch I added a little of the vegetable broth to help aid in the breaking down process. Add more vegetable broth until you reach the consistency you desire (mine was on the thicker puree side, and would make a great baby food.)
- Serve over your favourite pasta with a bit of olive oil and fresh cilantro if desired.
This recipe is pretty basic. You could easily customize it by adding fresh cilantro (I am not the hugest fan of cilantro so that is why I did not puree it into my sauce.) Adding in a leek would be a nice touch, or you can even sweeten up the sauce with some nutmeg and cinnamon!