Welcome back after 4th of July weekend! How’s your noggin? Do you have any stories for me? Please, do tell! I went up to the Tahoe last week, plunked down the ol’ vehicle at my mom’s house, and spent the weekend hanging out with friends, day drinking, trail running, getting rained on-ing, sunning, and fireworks watching. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing weekend.
And now it’s time for a pasta cleanse.
With the beet marinara sauce.
Marinara sauce. Hot.topic.
I’ve always admired those who spend a great deal of time and energy on making authentic Italian sauces. My friends who make their own pasta sauces are very invested in having their sauces turn out the same way each and every time (a stark contrast to my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-little-this-little-that-BOOM-pasta-sauce approach). They use very specific canned (or fresh) tomatoes, with a very specific amount of garlic, measure the sugar to the T, and let’s not even discuss the wine v. no wine or the cinnamon v. no cinnamon scenario, there’s just not enough storage space on this site to even.go.there.
A great sauce is a great sauce, no matter how you stir it. There’s just no arguing with perfection. I’m a uuuuge fan of making all my sauceables homemade, and when I added BEETS (of all the things) to marinara sauce, I knew I had struck gold. Seriously. Believe you me. G-O-L-D. Gold.
If you, yourself, and you are one of those sauce maisters I mentioned above, you may be thinking to yourself, “BEET marinara? Abomination.” Just bare with me here.
Beets add a natural sweetness and rich flavor to marinara sauce, and also give it this gorgeous deep, dark color. Plus, since they’re über nutritious, you get the added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They do a whoa job of cutting the acidity of the tomatoes, and you guys, it doesn’t take much more work than the ush to include them. The recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, which is awesome if you’re feeding a crowd, and also great for freezing and having available year-round. I used previously cooked beets for this sauce, so your options are to to do as I did, or steam or roast a large beet ahead of time and chop it up for the sauce, or chop up a raw beet and cook the sauce slow and low until the beet is cooked through.
Zucchini noodles. Have you had your way with them and now you’re ready to move on to the next thing? Could you go the rest of your life without a veggie noodle pasta? Do you wish all the spiralizers would take a swim down to Davy Jones’ Locker, never to be seen again?
Whether the zoodle trend has reached its peak and is plummeting to its trough, I’m just so satisfied by them. They’re the easiest to spiralize (I use my Paderno Spiralizer and it takes but 30 seconds to whip out an uuuuuge batch of noods), zucchini are always available in the grocery store (especially this time of year), and they’re just so pairable with just about any sauce.
For me, these zucchini noodles with beet marinara makes for a glorious meat-less meal. It’s squeaky clean for those times you need a little break from the difficult-to-digestibles, and also great for the post-holiday mini cleanse. If you’re needing a little additional substance and protein, you can add sauted shrimp, roast chicken, or even the tofus. Serve with fresh grated parm and some fresh basil? Don’t mind if we do.
Head over to Love Beets to get the recipe for my Zucchini Noodles with Beet Marinara Sauce! Or see the recipe below:
And if you’re itching to try more spiralized veggie noodle recipes, try these on for size: