This nomato sauce is a nightshade-free marinara sauce that’s made without tomatoes and other nightshade ingredients. It’s an ideal replacer for all your tomato based dishes like spaghetti Bolognese, casseroles, stews and pasta sauces.
If you haven’t come across ‘nightshades’ before, you’d be forgiven to confuse yourself with a bedside lamp or glasses!
But when it comes to foods, nightshades are a category of vegetables and fruits belonging to the Solanaceae family. What all nightshade foods have in common are alkaloids, nitrogen-containing substances that are found in the leaves, stems and edible parts of the plants.
While nightshades offer a lot of beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants, some health professionals believe they contribute to inflammation in the body to those who appear sensitive, and therefore, advise limiting or avoiding nightshades in the diet to reduce inflammation (to reduce symptoms).
Like lectins found in beans and grains, alkaloids are toxic in high amounts. But simply cooking these foods can significantly reduce their concentration.
Like any elimination diet, it’s best to seek a professional and keep a food and symptom diary at home to ensure you’re just cutting out foods that are essential for a limited period of time, while building up gut health.
This nomato sauce got a big thumbs up from my eldest son who is currently doing 4 weeks without nightshades to see if it helps his mild hayfever symptoms of red, itchy eyes as well as his mild asthma. After just one week of going nightshade free and removing all gluten and dairy we are seeing exciting improvements but it’s still too early to determine what’s helping the most.
I’ve also got my son on a range of supplements to support his gut and liver health while we’re doing this elimination diet.
If you’d like more nightshade free recipes as well as low histamine, salicylates and other allergy-friendly (gluten and dairy free) meal plans and recipes remember to check out my much loved Allergy Free Club. We’ve got hundreds of allergy-friendly delicious recipes inside waiting for you!
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small beet, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbs maple syrup (or raw sugar)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 – 2 cups vegetable stock, chicken broth or water
- 2 Tbs lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and roughly chop the veggies. Even though everything gets blitzed together I still like to chop everything fairly small so the flavours disperse better.
- Add onions first and allow to cook until translucent for 5 minutes while chopping the rest of the vegetables.
- Add the remaining vegetables and dried herbs and stir to combine and cook until tender (another 5 or so minutes). Stirring to avoid any burnt bits!
- Add the lemon juice, maple syrup (or other sweetener) seasoning and broth (stock or water). Use enough liquid to just cover the veggies and cook for a further 10 minutes until the veggies are soft.
- Once ready, pop in the fresh basil, give it a good mix and use a hand stick blender to pulse until you achieve a nice thick red sauce. Alternatively pop into a food processor until you have the desired consistency.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze in batches for up to 3 months.
- Some recipes call for pumpkin puree. I wasn’t a fan as I found it didn’t really enhance flavour and it also changed the texture of meals like spaghetti Bolognese making it appear more mushy. However you can add this in and I’d suggest half a cup of pumpkin or sweet potato puree.
- Another flavour option is to add 5-10 pitted kalamata olives and I suspect that would be rather delicious.