Easy and delicious tomato free pasta sauce! Homemade Italian inspired pasta sauce for spaghetti, lasagna, and more. Nightshade free!
This sauce has the texture, look, and taste of this sauce just like the tomato version - just without the tomatoes! You and your family will love this on pasta, in lasagna, or as dipping sauce for some gluten free cheesy bread sticks.
This recipe is nightshade free, gluten free, vegan, and AIP friendly.
Make sure you check out my other tomato free recipes for pizza sauce and sloppy joes!
Free from: nightshades, wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, celery, and more
What are nightshades?
There are over 2,000 types of plants in the nightshade family and the majority of them are poisonous. However, foods like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants also fall into the night shade family.
Nightshades are a type of plant that produce certain compounds, specifically saponins and glycoalkaloids, that can make them difficult for people. These cause inflammation and can simulate an autoimmune response in the body, thinking that it is under attack when it isn’t.
Therefore, many people who are working on controlling part of their autoimmune illnesses though diet have found that eliminating nightshades results in huge improvements in their health.
To read more about nightshades, make sure you check out my Nightshades 101 article!
A tomato free pasta sauce, or nomato sauce if you will, is a nightshade free version of marinara sauce. This means no tomatoes, peppers, or any other nightshades are present in the recipe.
So how do we get the authentic taste for pasta? By using a combination of veggies and beef!
Beets, Carrots, Onions - They main 3 for any tomato free pasta sauce. They provide the base and body of the sauce, as well as providing color and nutrition. This pasta sauce is secretly full of veggies!
Fennel Seeds - The secret to making this taste like authentic pasta sauce! The fennel really elevates this sauce to a whole new level.
Orange Juice - This gives the sauce that little kick!
- Olive oil
- Stock - chicken, beef, or veggie all work great.
- Herbs and Spices
- Ground Beef
In a large pot on the stove, over a medium to medium-high heat, combine the chopped beets, carrots, and onions (or shallots). Add the herbs and spices, stock, and olive oil. Bring this to a boil and cook until the beets are very soft, about 45 minutes to one hour.
Transfer the beet mixture to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
In another large pot on the stove, over a medium heat, begin to saute your additional onions (or shallots). Cook until they are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, just to get them fragrant.
Now add the ground beef. Using your cooking spoon, break the ground beef up into little bites and cook until the beef is fully cooked.
Finally, add the premade beet mixture back to the pot, as well as adding the fennel seeds and orange juice. Cook for 5 minutes or until everything is mixed into a thick and delicious pasta sauce.
Serve immediately over pasta, in lasagna, as a dipping sauce, or more! You can also store this several different ways to always have fresh tomato free pasta sauce on hand.
Can I make this with different ground meats?
Yes! Use the same amount of things like ground chicken, turkey, or lamb in this meal for a different flavor.
Can I make this vegan?
Yes! Prepare 1 cup of cooked brown lentils in place of ground beef. I recommend cooking the lentils in your favorite flavorful stock to really impart some flavor. When making with lentils, you can also add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce for flavor.
You can also make this with mushrooms and lentils together! I recommend ½ cup cooked lentils with 1 cup chopped button or portobello mushrooms. Make as directed.
How to Store
This sauce is really best the day that you make it. You can make it and keep it in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This pasta sauce is awesome frozen! You can make a double (or even triple!) batch and then keep the extra in a freezer safe container for quick pasta nights during the week.
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- Large cooking pot
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Cooking spoons
- blender or food processor
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 large onion divided in half
- 3 carrots
- 1 small beet
- 3 cloves of garlic divided
- 2 cups stock
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon each dried basil dried parsley, dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 lbs ground beef
- In a large pot on the stove, over a medium to medium-high heat, combine chopped beets, carrots, half of the onion, and one clove of crushed garlic. Add the stock, lemon juice, and herbs and salt.
- Cook on the stove for 45 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.
- Transfer beet mixture to the blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large pot on the stove, over medium heat, place the other tablespoon of olive oil with the remaining half of the onion. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beef and brown.
- When the beef is fully cooked, add the beet mixture back to the pot. Add the orange juice and fennel seeds.
- Cook for 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve immediately over pasta. Enjoy!