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The Nightshade-Free "No-mato" Sauce We Can't Stop Eating

Carolina Santos-Neves
mbg Contributor By Carolina Santos-Neves
mbg Contributor
Carolina Santos-Neves is a graduate of the Chef Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts and is presently the chef of Hungry Beast, (CDMX) a kitchen & Juice Bar that focuses on flavors from all over the world with a focus on using organic and local products.
The Nightshade-Free "No-mato" Sauce We Can't Stop Eating

It's true. If you looked at it you wouldn't believe it, and if you did a blind taste test, it's safe to say you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this carrot-beet "no-mato" sauce and the traditional Italian version made with tomatoes.

For those of us who are extra sensitive to nightshades—a group of vegetables that consists of potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes, known for causing inflammation and chronic pain—this recipe is a saving grace.

For those who are Paleo, you're also in for a treat—your quinoa pasta has finally met its match.

Carrot-Beet Sauce

Makes 1 quart


  • 2 pounds carrots (8 medium), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 ounces beets, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces onion (1 large), small dice
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup minced garlic (4 large cloves)
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 2 to 2½ cups reserved vegetable cooking liquid
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red miso, dissolved in ¼ cup liquid
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi paste*
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Combine carrots and beets with water to cover in a medium pressure cooker and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook in a large pot covered, for about 40 minutes. Drain vegetables and let cool. Reserve cooking liquid.

2. In 1-gallon saucepan, heat oil over medium flame; sweat onion with salt and garlic until onions are translucent. Add oregano, basil, and fennel. Continue to sweat a few minutes longer.

3. Puree carrots and beets in blender with half of onion-garlic mixture, 2 cups reserved cooking liquid, miso, umeboshi paste, and balsamic vinegar.

4. Return sauce to saucepan and add remaining onions and garlic. Add remaining ½ cup cooking liquid to achieve proper consistency, if needed.

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*Umeboshi is a Japanese plum that gives recipes a savory-sour quality. Entube makes a good one.

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