Monday, October 1, 2012

Tomato-less Spaghetti Sauce

A reader asked recently what I would suggest instead of tomatoes to make a spaghetti sauce. I found this recipe here, and think it is an amazing option. I love that she points out in the quote under the photo that she doesn't even like beets, but enjoyed this sauce.

photo from

*I can’t remember where I first saw the notion of using beets to make a sauce instead of tomatoes, but I’ve been wanting to make one for the past couple of years. Whoever the original creator was is a genius, but this sauce is like no other that I saw when searching the internet for recipes. I think you’re going to love it!  Oh and I hate beets. FYI.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (bacon fat will work too, just reduce the salt slightly)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups beets, peeled and diced
1 cup yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 pieces of bacon, chopped
2½ teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
¾ cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 pound ground beef, veal, or pork (I used grassfed 85/15 beef)
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the bacon and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add the carrots, beets, and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened slightly, about 5-6 minutes.
Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Carefully pour the sauce into a blender and blend on low for 15 seconds, then increase the speed to high and continue to blend until you have a smooth sauce.
*Be careful when blending hot liquids as they have the tendancy to splatter. You can also use an immersion blender in the pot.
Return the sauce to the pan. Add the bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer then crumble the ground meat with your hands and add it to the sauce. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, until the meat is fully cooked.
*The thickness of the sauce will depend on what the fat content of your meat is. If it is too thick, add a little more stock towards the end of the cooking process until it has reached your desired thickness.

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