Tomato-Free Marinara Sauce

Tomato-Free Marinara Sauce

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped, (optional) (I used 2 cloves of garlic)

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar (in the end, I ended up adding a little more, maybe a tsp.)

1 (8-ounce) can Beets,* drained (reserve the liquid)

1 (14-15 ounce) can Pumpkin Puree (make sure it is not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2-3/4 cups gluten-free Chicken or Vegetable broth (I used Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock)

1 tsp. Sea Salt

24 grinds Fresh Black Pepper

1/3-1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Basil (I used 1/4 cup dried Basil, plus I added a couple of Tbs. dried Oregano)

1 ½ tsp. Cornstarch or Arrowroot, moistened with 2 Tbs. reserved beet juice

  • Saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is translucent and slightly brown.
  • Add lemon juice and vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Puree beets until very smooth. (I did this in my food processor, but a blender would be fine too. You will need a little liquid to help the pureeing process: use some beet juice or water, maybe 1/4 cup or so)
  • Add pureed beets, pumpkin puree, salt, pepper and basil to pan. Stir until combined.
  • Whisk in the broth. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Do not over-cook; beets discolor with prolonged cooking. If sauce is too thick, add a little more broth to thin.
  • Whisk in the moistened cornstarch (or arrowroot). Cook for 1 more minute. Taste and adjust seasoning.

*TIP: If you prefer, you can use fresh beets. Roast them in the oven until soft and puree them in a food blender before adding to recipe.

TIP: If the sauce seems too acidic, add a teaspoon or two of sugar. (I added 1 tsp. of Agave Nectar instead of sugar)