Recipe: FauxMato Sauce

nightshade-free no-mato sauceI’ve been meaning to post my FauxMato Sauce (gluten-free and IC-friendly) recipe for quite a while now but have been ironing out some kinks. Having used it recently in a gluten-free stromboli and several pots of crock-pot lasagna, I figured it was time for it to make its debut on the blog.

My husband, who doesn’t have to eat like this, says it’s very close to the real thing and is tasty, either way. It’s been 12 years for me since I’ve had the real thing, but this most definitely satisfies the itch for red sauce when I get it. I hope you love it!

Here’s how you do it – there are a couple non-IC-friendly ingredients (wine, vinegar) but you can leave those out and still have a tasty sauce. However, if you can tolerate a little bit of those, then give them a try as they add to the body and give it that extra something.

NoMato Sauce

  • 2 pounds carrots. sliced
  • 3 medium beets (or one package pre-cooked from Trader Joe’s), chopped or sliced (peeled if raw)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 good-sized leek (or 2-pack from Trader Joe’), sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced (or more – depends on how much you like your garlic, I’ll use a whole bulb if patient enough to peel it all!)
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, and then to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • chicken/beef/veggie stock or broth – your choice (at least one of those 32 oz boxes)
  • 1 cup red or white wine, if you can tolerate it cooked
  • water
  • 4 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or other gluten-free tamari/soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp oregano

Saute onions and leeks in a stock pot with olive oil in the bottom. When they have just started to sweat a little, add in garlic, carrots, beets, and celery. Add salt and pepper, and stir a little longer.

Add liquids, depending on what you like and can tolerate. You will need enough to cover the veggies in the stock pot, so start out with the box of broth/stock. Then add in the wine if you can tolerate it cooked (some ICers can’t handle wine at all, others are fine with it). If this isn’t enough to JUST cover the veggies, add in a little water to bring it to that level, so there are still some pieces of carrot and onion sticking out. You can always thin the sauce later if it gets too thick.

Let simmer on the stove with a lid on it for about 20 minutes. At that point, take an immersion or stick blender, take the pot off the heat, and blend it up as best you can. You can also use a blender or food processor, but hot stuff in those can get pretty messy, so be careful! Blend it up as finely as you can.

Once blended, put back on heat and check the thickness. If it resembles spaghetti sauce, then you’re set. If it’s too thick, then add more broth, wine, or water (or all three). If too watery, then you’ll want the whole thing to reduce, so simmer for a bit with the lid off. You’ll want it to cook a bit longer anyway, to soften up the vegetables more.

Add in the basil and oregano, and then add in a couple of tablespoons of Bragg’s, and give it a taste. If you think it needs more body, add in more Bragg’s. If you can get away with a little bit of acid, then try adding some natural apple cider vinegar, the kind you get in the health food stores (or at Trader Joe’s). You can also saute up a cup of sliced mushrooms and add them at this point.

Let the whole thing simmer for another 20 minutes and then it should all be pretty tender. I like to use some right away but pour the rest in 16oz canning jars while still hot, let them cool, then put in the freezer for later use. It’s been 12 years since I’ve had a real tomato spaghetti sauce, but this stuff comes very close. Add some ground beef for a bolognese-like sauce, great in a crock-pot lasagna, or use in stromboli. You can also omit the Italian seasonings (basil and oregano) and use it as a more general-purpose red sauce. Have fun and experiment!

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