Let me back up a little and explain how my quest for a tomato-less sauce came about. For years I've suffered from GERD's. The medical term for heartburn. Not just any heartburn though, I'm talking the severe stuff. So bad that I've been on the strongest prescription medication they have for it for the last 6 years. Even with medication though I still suffered. Since going gluten free, I have greatly reduced my heartburn, but still had flare-ups. After starting a food journal about a month ago, I am finally starting to pinpoint the foods that give me the most trouble. Unfortunately one of them is tomatoes, one of my absolute favorite foods.
Not a good thing when you use tomatoes in some form in most of your cooking. How in the world was I going to enjoy my families favorite chili recipe, or pizza without tomato sauce? So I set out on a quest to find a substitute, even though I wan't hopeful at finding one. Turns out there IS a tomato sauce substitute out there called Nomato, an idea born from a family who wanted to make something their severely allergic child could enjoy on her pasta. Of course you know me, if it's sold in a store, then I want to make it homemade. I did a little more searching and finally found a recipe for homemade no-mato sauce.
I almost didn't make it after I seen the ingredient list. It contains beets, a vegetable I absolutely hate, and I mean that literally. I've tried it several times over the years, but no matter how it was prepared, I swear it taste like dirt to me. Has anyone else had that reaction to them, or am I the only one? So I almost passed the recipe up. But after I read her claim that she didn't like beets either, and that she swore you couldn't taste the beets in the finished product, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did to, because you really can't taste them at all! Trust me, as much as I detest beets, I wouldn't eat it if I could taste them. While it doesn't taste exactly like tomato sauce, how could it when it doesn't contain any tomato, it is very, very close, and makes a fabulous pizza sauce. I'll share that recipe with you soon. And the best part of all? NO heartburn after eating it!
So if you are allergic to tomatoes, or can't enjoy them because they give you heartburn like me, then I highly recommend this recipe.
No-Mato Sauce ~ Tomato Free Sauce
Makes about 5 cups of sauce.
3 tablespoons pure olive oil
4 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced into coins
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 - 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 - 8-ounce can beets
Saute green onion and thyme in a large pan with olive oil over medium heat until it starts to brown slightly. (about 5 minutes)
Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute more.
Add the carrots, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and add just enough water to barely cover the carrots.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes until the carrots are very soft. (For the final sauce to be smooth, the carrots need to be really soft).
Place the pumpkin and beets into a blender and process until smooth.
Once the carrot mixture is finished cooking, carefully add it to the pumpkin/beet mixture and blend until completely smooth.
Taste for seasoning and use as you would tomato sauce.
Keep in mind that this sauce will lose its red color the longer you cook it, so be sure to heat it as little as possible.
Want spaghetti or pizza sauce? Add your favorite Italian seasonings to taste, such as garlic, basil, oregano, etc.
This sauce freezes well.
Adapted From: Gluten Free Dairy Free NJ
After a fellow blogger, Dorothy from Shockingly Delicious made some modifications to my recipe, I adopted two of them and incorporated them into the recipe. They include the reduction of the amount of oil used, and the addition of dried thyme.