Who doesn’t love pasta…what I love most about it, is that it is so quick and easy to make. I find that store bought pasta and pizza sauces are ‘okay’ – however, they lack two things that I look for in any food – flavour and nutrition.

Sure, they have a few veggies thrown in, but I wonder at how those veggies are cooked, how long have they been on the shelf for, are the nutrients still present?…so many factors to consider while buying store bought food. And I would like the sauce to be awesomely delicious…which it always failed at achieving.

I made pizza some months ago, and the thought occurred to me – why is pizza an unhealthy food? I can make it healthy – fill it full of veggies, make it on a good (in my case, gluten-free) base and I don’t mind the kids eating it as a stand-alone meal!

That’s when I made this sauce. I’ve mixed it in with pasta and it is awesome. It freezes extremely well too. So make a large batch and keep it in the freezer for emergencies or ‘lazy days’. You can even whip it up when you hardly have any time, because it is soooo easy and quick!

My kids absolutely love it as do all of my friends who have tasted it. Taste – check. Nutrient dense. Check.

Here is why this sauce is so nutrient dense…

Oregano – This herb is a fantastic source of vitamin K. Vitamin K can help fight cancer, is great for your brain, bone and heart health. Deficiencies can occur if you are celiac or have cystic fibrosis.

Also, if you use antibiotics regularly, you are more likely to be deficient in this vitamin. Anti-bacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti cancer etc…oregano is wonderful to treat upper respiratory illness, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, bronchitis, leukemia, etc.

Have you ever seen ‘oil of oregano’ in health food stores? This is used to treat head lice and RNA and DNA viruses, such as SARS!

Capsicum / bell peppers – These little wonders come in a variety of colours and are filled full of nutrition. They contain a whopping amount of vitamin C, vitamins A and B6. They also contain a large amount of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B1, E and K.

Studies have found that organically grown bell peppers have a higher amount of vitamin C. So choose organic if you want to choose one over the other.

They reduce the risk of a large number of chronic diseases – diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc. It is great for eye health as well.

Paprika – Just one serving of paprika is rich in antioxidants! This helps with preventing cancer, diabetes and it is good for your eyes.

Your children will thank you for this nutrition filled yummy sauce…trust me.

10 minute loaded pasta or pizza sauce

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: condiments, sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, nutrient dense, processed sugar free, quick, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

To whizz

  • 1/4 cup broth or water
  • 400 gms tomato paste
  • 1 small onion diced optional
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 6-7 parsley stalks and leaves Chopped
  • 1 green capsicum deseeded and chopped
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 zuchinni
  • 1 cup cashew nuts

Spices and herbs

  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper

To add to pan

  • Coconut oil / ghee to fry

Instructions

  • Whizz the broth/water, tomato paste, onion, garlic, capsicum, parsley, vegetables and cashew nuts till fine
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add the whizzed mix to the pan
  • Stir for around a minute or so
  • Then add all the spices and herbs (oregano, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper)
  • Stir to incorporate and let it cook for a few minutes
  • Take the sauce off the heat
  • Spread over your pizza base or stir it in warm pasta
 

 

REFERENCES

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Yang YC, Lee SH, Clark JM, Ahn YJ. Ovicidal and adulticidal activities of Origanum majorana essential oil constituents against insecticide-susceptible and pyrethroid/malathion-resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae). J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57(6):2282‐2287. doi:10.1021/jf803738z

Pilau MR, Alves SH, Weiblen R, Arenhart S, Cueto AP, Lovato LT. Antiviral activity of the Lippia graveolens (Mexican oregano) essential oil and its main compound carvacrol against human and animal viruses. Braz J Microbiol. 2011;42(4):1616‐1624

Sökmen M, Serkedjieva J, Daferera D, et al. In vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities of the essential oil and various extracts from herbal parts and callus cultures of Origanum acutidens. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52(11):3309‐3312. doi:10.1021/jf049859g

Han X, Parker TL. Anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil in a human skin disease model. Biochim Open. 2017;4:73‐77. Published 2017 Mar 3. doi:10.1016/j.biopen.2017.02.005

Ijaz, M., Chen, Z., Raja, S., Suchmann, D., Royt, P., Ingram, C., Gray, J. and Paolilli, G. (2004). The Seventeenth International Conference on Antiviral Research:Antiviral and Virucidal Activities of Oreganol P73-based Spice Extracts Against Human Coronavirus In Vitro. Antiviral Research, 62(2), pp.A1-A92.

Hallmann E, Rembiałkowska E. Characterisation of antioxidant compounds in sweet bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) under organic and conventional growing systems. J Sci Food Agric. 2012;92(12):2409‐2415. doi:10.1002/jsfa.5624

Srinivasan K. Biological Activities of Red Pepper (Capsicum annuum) and Its Pungent Principle Capsaicin: A Review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(9):1488‐1500. doi:10.1080/10408398.2013.772090

Kim HG, Bae JH, Jastrzebski Z, et al. Binding, Antioxidant and Anti-proliferative Properties of Bioactive Compounds of Sweet Paprika (Capsicum annuum L.). Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2016;71(2):129‐136. doi:10.1007/s11130-016-0550-9

Aizawa K, Inakuma T. Dietary capsanthin, the main carotenoid in paprika (Capsicum annuum), alters plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels and hepatic gene expression in rats. Br J Nutr. 2009;102(12):1760‐1766. doi:10.1017/S0007114509991309

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