This recipe for homemade Italian nomato sauce is so easy, you'll never go back to store bought! This sauce has so many uses – my favorite is to make it for lasagna or pasta. The texture and flavor are spot on with that of a traditional tomato sauce or marinara, but without all the inflammatory nightshade vegetables. AIP, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly!
When I first started transitioning to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) in 2014, I couldn't fathom the thought of not partaking in tomato sauce. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and fills any boring food with flavor. Think about it – how much flavor does traditional pasta actually have on it's own? I'd stand to bet the majority of the population likes pasta recipes for the sauce, not the actual pasta.
At the time of starting AIP, I was a vegetarian who ate tomato sauce on a near daily basis. I'd top everything you can imagine with it: Tempeh, eggs, brown rice, steamed broccoli, even straight from the jar. You name it, I ate it topped with tomato sauce.
Fast forward to present day 2017, and I now know (all thanks to the reintroduction phase of AIP) that those daily binges on tomato sauce were causing constant inflammation within my body. If I choose to indulge in tomatoes these days, I'm sure to end up with achy joints in my hands and feet.
Which brings me to this AIP Nomato Sauce recipe.
Honestly, I can't believe it's taken me this long to share this recipe. I've been making some variation of it for the past 3 years! Sorry for hoarding it from you for so long ;). I'm here today sharing the recipe with you after finally perfecting the nomato sauce formula.
What Is Nomato Sauce?
Simply put, nomato sauce is a nightshade free version of marinara sauce. Not sure what nightshades are? Nightshade veggies are a classification of vegetables that have been shown to be a potentially inflammatory food. Nightshade vegetables are to be avoided for a period of time on certain elimination diets like the AIP diet.
I spent 3 years perfecting the nomato sauce formula, and the result is a truly authentic tasting nomato sauce. It even fooled my nightshade-loving husband! I attribute the authentic flavors come down to the following ingredients, so I highly encourage adding them to your sauce:
- fewer beets than other recipes – results in a less sweet flavor
- pumpkin puree – contributes to the authentic flavor and texture
- fresh basil – contributes to the authentic flavor
- bone broth – adds a richness to the sauce
- kalamata olives – umami flavor
- nutritional yeast – imparts a cheesy aftertaste
How to Make the Best Nomato Sauce
Most nomato sauce recipes call for lots of beets, which is a total faux pas in my opinion. It makes the sauce inauthentically sweet! My recipe calls for just one beet. If you're concerned about the earthiness of the beet, be sure to scrub it really well, or even peel it before you saute.
There are very few ingredients that can change in flavor as much as an onion does when going from raw to sauteed. Don't skip this step! It makes all the difference.
Carrots and Celery
These two ingredients add to the bulk, color, and mild flavor contributions to the sauce. I wouldn't recommend omitting or reducing the quantities, but in a pinch you could likely substitute in one for the other.
Secret Ingredient – Pumpkin!
Don't you dare skip this! This is the key to an authentic Italian marinara sauce flavor without the nightshade veggies. It contributes to the color, flavor, and texture of the sauce.
I love adding bone broth to up the nutrient density of the sauce and bring an added richness. However, while following a low histamine diet, I used water in place of bone broth and it was still delicious.
Sauteed garlic, high quality Himalayan sea salt, and a good spice blend like the one from Primal Palate are totally worth the added upfront expense and time. Don't skimp out on these!
Optional Flavor Enhancers
I love to add all of these, but they aren't necessary! If you have them on hand, I highly recommend including them. If you're out at the store grabbing the ingredients, my favorite flavor enhancer is the fresh basil.
Can I Freeze It?
After having been through a low histamine diet, I can truthfully say most food do freeze well. Of course a meal is never the exact same as it was fresh from the oven/instant pot/skillet, but neither are leftovers.
This nomato sauce however, is perfect frozen, thawed, frozen and thawed again! It tastes just the same, so much so, that I've started creating a triple batch every time I make this and storing the leftovers in wide mouth mason jars in the freezer.
So now you know – this nomato sauce freezes well, and makes a wonderful sauce for just about anything you can imagine! What are you waiting for?!
Where Can I Buy Nomato Sauce?
If you'd rather not make it yourself, there are several online stores and retails stores that sell prepared nomato sauce. There are two brands you can find on Amazon, one brand is called ‘Nomato Sauce‘ and the other is KC Natural. These are great options if you're short on time, but my recipe is so easy, why would you want to go with store bought when you can have it fresh!
Other recipes you'll like:
Without further ado, here's the recipe (with secret ingredient!) for my AIP diet Nomato Sauce.
AIP Nomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 ribs celery
- 3 carrots
- 1 beet
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 1/2 cup bone broth, can substitute water, see note #1
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Herb Primal Palate Blend from the Everyday AIP spice blends pack , can substitute granulated garlic and dried parsley to taste
- Optional flavor enhancers
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 10 pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 juice of a lemon
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Chop remaining veggies while onions saute. When onions are slightly translucent, add chopped celery, carrots, and beet to onions.
- Once all veggies are soft, add pumpkin puree, diced garlic, bone broth, sea salt, and Primal Palate spice blend. Cook about 10 minutes.
- Add optional flavor enhancers like lemon juice, basil leaves, olives, and nutritional yeast.
- Blend with an immersion blender in the sauce pan, or transfer to a blender or food processor. Pulse until you achieve the desired texture.
- If you prefer your sauce to be a bit thicker, you can reduce the bone broth or water, and if you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add more. I've found 2 1/2 cups to be a good middle ground, so I would give or take from there.
- Enjoy with my AIP Pizza Bite recipe, or add to spiralized zucchini noodles for an AIP take on traditional spaghetti.