Perfect for busy weeknights and fussy kids, this super easy Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce takes just 15 minutes to whip up and packs in a whopping 7 different vegetables and absolutely no added sugar or other hidden nasties that you often find in shop bought pasta sauces. Serve with wholegrain pasta for a super healthy dinner (or the regular kind, if brown spaghetti is a step to far for your lot!) This pasta dish is vegan, vegetarian and dairy free. The pasta sauce itself is gluten free too.
When Froothie contacted me to ask if I’d like to try their Optimum VAC 2 blender*, I jumped at the chance! Regular readers will know I am a big fan of my Froothie Optimum G2.3* – a powerful high-speed blender that makes light work of smoothies, sauces, dips, soups, cauliflower rice and more. (You can read my Froothie Optimum G2.3 review here.)
The Froothie Optimum VAC 2, however, takes things to a whole different level. Not only does it do everything the G2.3 does, but it also has a vacuum function. The idea here is that by removing the oxygen from the blender before blending, more of the nutrients are retained (nutrients, such as vitamin C, are often lost due to oxidation) so your smoothie is healthier AND the smoothie stays fresh for much longer, meaning you can make a smoothie early in the day and enjoy it later, safe in the knowledge that it will still taste great. Isn’t that amazing?
Me being me, I wanted to give the Optimum VAC 2 a jolly good test drive first before writing this review. I’ve tested the VAC 2 blender out on a number of different recipes from soups to sauces, smoothies to dips and (for those of you who don’t have time to read the full review below), I can assure you it is EVEN BETTER than the Froothie Optimum G2.3 (and I really loved that blender)… and the claims really are true – smoothies taste fresher AND last longer. I don’t obviously have the science equipment available to me to test whether it actually does preserve the nutrients better! But I’m pretty confident that it must do, given how super fresh VAC 2 smoothies taste, compared to a smoothie made in a standard blender.
15 Minute Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Getting a new blender gave me the perfect excuse to create a recipe I’ve been thinking about for ages: a hidden vegetable pasta sauce that’s made entirely in a blender. Sure, there are lots of recipes for hidden vegetable pasta sauces that you create in a saucepan first and THEN blend. But I wondered if it would be possible to make a great tasting hidden vegetable pasta sauce WITHOUT having to dirty a saucepan first (not to mention faffing around with frying the veg first then simmering.)
Just like the G2.3, the VAC 2 has a SOUP function which is just perfect for this kind of recipe. I simply loaded the blender up with healthy veggies, a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes and some basil. Hit the SOUP function and 6 minutes later I had the most incredible pasta sauce – and only my blender to wash up.
Better still, my VAC 2, just like my G2.3, will actually heat the pasta sauce (or soup) too. Meaning all you have to do is add it to the drained pasta, give it a little stir and you are ready. I chose to serve this with wholewheat spaghetti, making this a super healthy, super easy midweek meal – ready in just 15 minutes! The sauce itself is vegan, vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free – and because of the gentle heating method it retains more of the nutrients than other cooking methods.
This sauce is so easy to make it’s perfect for meal prep: make extra each time you make it and stash it in the freezer for later.
And there’s so much you can do with this 15 Minute Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce! Use it as a pizza sauce, or as a base for bolognese, lasagne, chilli con carne (or sin carne, if you prefer) and stews… and so much more!
I think you can tell from the tone of my post, I am pretty excited about this blender – if you want to get your hands on one head here* or if you want to read a little bit more first read on…
Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender Review
How easy was it to get the Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender working?
Very!! The blender has just 4 bits to it: the base, the jug, a lid and a little insert that fits inside the lid.
You just slot the jug onto the base, the lid onto the jug (matching up the two arrows), and the little insert inside the lid (matching the arrow to the unlock position and then twisting into the lock position) – it’s so simple and the instructions are very clear.
The actual operating of the VAC 2 Blender is even easier. You have a choice of presets or you can use the machine on manual and it’s all very intuitive and user friendly – with very clear instructions in the handbook.
To use the vacuum function, you simply press VACCUM followed by your desired blender settings. When you press the ON button the machine automatically does the vacuuming first, followed by the blending. So simple!
The blender also comes with a ‘tamper’ – a big black stick you can use to (safely) poke things onto the blades (with the machine turned off, I hasten to add) – though I haven’t really had to use this yet as the machine is great at blending all by itself without additional help!
What can the Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender do?
Pretty much everything! It can make:
- Ice cream and sorbets
- Dressings and marinades
- Dips and Spreads
- Nut butters and milks
- Ground nuts
- Energy balls and bars
- Cauliflower rice
- Hot soup and sauces
- Baby food
- Crushed ice
And probably a whole lot more stuff I haven’t thought about yet!! The machine also comes with a handy recipe book to give you lots of inspiration and delicious recipes to try.
Does the Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender really wash itself up?
Amazingly YES! All you need to do when you have finished using the VAC 2 is put a drop of washing up liquid and a little warm water in the jug, pop the lid back on and run the blender on level 8 until the blender is clean. Then simply pour the contents of the blender away, rinse and allow to air dry. It takes a minute tops – and absolutely no chance of cutting yourself on the blades (as I once did with another brand of blender!).
How much does the Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender cost?
OK, so a fab blender like this does not come cheap – but it is worth every penny, I can assure you! The VAC 2 usually retails at £499**, but it’s currently on sale at just £379** which is a total steal for this revolutionary technology and general awesomeness… AND, if that’s a bit beyond your reach, you can spread the cost over 6 months with 0% finance.
There’s also free delivery and a 30 day money back guarantee – they’ll even pay your return postage costs (UK mainland only) – not that you’ll be sending it back mind!! Once you find out for yourself just how fab the Froothie Optimum VAC 2, sending it back won’t cross your mind!
And for extra peace of mind there’s a free 5 year warranty – or you can pay a little extra to get a 10 year warranty.
Want to get your hands on a fab Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender?
If you would like to know more about the Froothie Optimum VAC 2 Blender and how it compares to other blenders on the market, or if you want to buy one of these lovely machines for yourself, simply click here* to be taken to the Froothie website.
If you order an Optimum VAC 2 Blender* or any other Froothie appliance* through one of my links, I can offer Easy Peasy Foodie readers an additional £20 off. Just add 4110 ambassador £20 discount to the comment box when ordering. If you order by phone, just mention the code. The £20 will be credited back onto your card.
And if you do buy one, please let me know in the comments below or on social media – I’d love to know how you get on and what you make in it!
15 minute Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
- 1 onion peeled and halved
- 2 cloves garlic skin removed
- 1 stick of celery chopped roughly
- 1 medium carrot chopped roughly
- 1 red or yellow (bell) pepper deseeded and chopped roughly
- 1 small courgette chopped roughly
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- Large handful of basil (roughly 15 grams / ½ oz)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wholewheat spaghetti (or pasta of choice – use gluten free pasta if you want to make this gluten free)
- Parmesan or vegan equivalent grated (optional)
- Extra basil roughly torn
Place all the pasta sauce ingredients into your blending jug. Put the lid on top, making sure you align the two arrows. Place the small lid insert on top of the lid ensuring the arrow is pointing at the unlock position, turn 90 degrees to lock.
Place the blending jug on the main body of the blender.
Plug the blender in and press the Press the ON/OFF button to switch it on. Select the SOUP function. Press the ON/OFF button and the blender will magically turn your ingredients into a delicious pasta sauce.
If any of the ingredients don’t blend properly. Stop the blender, take out the small lid and use the tamper to push the ingredients onto the blades, then replace the small lid and restart the blender.
To serve, stir into cooked, drained pasta and garnish with extra basil and grated cheese/vegan cheese alternative, if you wish. Alternatively use as a pizza sauce, or as a base for bolognese, lasagne, chilli con carne (or sin carne, if you prefer) and stews.
Freeze or refrigerate any leftovers for future use.
To make this in a regular blender or food processor, simply blend the pasta sauce ingredients and then warm the sauce in a pan on the hob before adding to the pasta.
Please note, not all blenders may be able to handle blending raw vegetables. Please refer to the manufacturers guidelines if you are unsure.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Nutrition is based on 1 portion of the sauce only (it does not include the pasta.)
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* I am a Froothie ambassador and this post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy a Froothie product using my links*, (marked with a *) I will get a small commission, but it will not cost you a penny more. Please rest assured I only recommend products that I like and find helpful in the kitchen and think my readers will like too. For more information on collaborative posts please read my disclosure page.
**price correct at 04/09/18 – please check website for latest price and offers