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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Recipe - NoMato Sauce

I recently realized I was allergic to the whole nightshade family. This means no tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, chilies, or paprika. It's made my life so much harder. Almost every sauce has tomatoes in it. Paprika is in EVERYTHING.

NoMato Pizza before cheese
Mexican is pretty much right off my menu. Italian isn't far behind.

Except there are people out there who have developed a sauce that is very similar to tomato sauce. I was skeptical, but I miss tomato sauce a lot more than I thought I would. The sauce takes quite a bit of prep, but it makes a large batch and can be frozen. It also tastes surprisingly like spaghetti sauce.

My tummy is happy. I had spaghetti AND pizza tonight. And no tomatoes or peppers in sight.

I took several different recipes and kind of mixed them up together to make what I could without weird ingredients. Here's my version -

NoMato Sauce

1 large onion, chopped
4-6 large cloves of garlic, minced fine
2 T. butter
4 large carrots, shredded
4-6 large crimini mushrooms, chopped (the brown ones, although the white ones would work, too)
1 T. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor
1 1/2 c. hot water
1 c. cubed butternut squash
1 can of diced beets (DON'T drain)
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. Italian seasoning herb mix
1-2 T. lemon juice

In a large slow cooker (3-4 quarts), melt butter. Add onions and garlic. Cook on HIGH for about an hour, until onion is soft and starting to brown.

Add carrots, mushrooms, bouillon, and water. Cook for another 1-2 hours, until carrots are mostly cooked. Add squash. Cook another 1-2 hours, until squash is falling apart and carrots are very soft.

Turn off the heat. Using a stick blender, cream the vegetables. Add the beets with liquid, salt, and pepper. Use the blender until the beets are blended in and the sauce is a dark reddish orange color. Stir in more water if the sauce is too thick, but not too much or it will go watery and separate.

Stir in the Italian seasoning and lemon juice. Add more if you like a sharper zing to the sauce, less if you like it more earthy.

Use as you would tomato sauce - over noodles or spaghetti, on bread for pizza, in lasagna, etc.

NOTE: if you cook it after you add the beets, the color fades. So if you want the red sauce, don't add the beets until the last few minutes.

This makes a large batch - about 2 1/2 quarts of sauce. It can be frozen for longer storage, but it should last about a week in the fridge.