A tasty nightshade-free sauce that is a good substitute for tomato-based sauces, shared by QT client Sarah.
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup of carrots (cut into ½ inch pieces)
2 medium sweet potatoes cubed (about 4 cups)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (8-ounce) can beets
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Optional herbs to make Marinara or other Italian sauce(s):
1/3 cup Basil (chopped or whole, see below) [Fresh is better, if using dried, 2-3 tbsp]
1/3 cup Parsley (chopped or whole, see below) [Fresh is better, if using dried, 2-3 tbsp]
3 tablespoons Oregano (chopped or whole, see below) [Fresh is better, if using dried, 2-3 tsp]
How to prepare tomato free sauce:
1. In a large stock pot, sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until just starting to brown.
2. Add the carrots, diced sweet potatoes, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper then cover (barely) with water.
3. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes until the carrots and sweet potatoes are very soft. Option: Add a roasted red pepper (keep in mind that many people who can’t eat tomatoes also can’t eat red peppers, since they are in the same biological family). You don’t need to substitute if leaving out, and if you add more than one they may over power the final sauce.
4. Blend the contents of the pot until smooth (in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender). Add the olive oil during the blending.
5. The cornstarch in step 6 will thicken up the sauce slightly so don’t worry if it is a little runny. If the sauce is too thick already, add some water, if too runny simmer it awhile to thicken (cover the pot but leave the lid askew).
5b. If you boil your meatballs/sausage in the sauce, I would add them here as well.
6. Puree the contents of the can of beets (liquid included) and the cornstarch in a blender until very smooth (if only using for pasta sauce, to save some chopping you can add the fresh herbs here as well!).
7. Add the beet mixture back to the pot and simmer for about five more minutes.
8. If using for more than pasta sauce, portion out what you need and then add a prorated amount of chopped herbs to the remaining sauce.