This most recent in my series of spaghetti sauce recipes is thick and non-peppery, ideal for use in Stuffed Shells.
We got a winter farm share this year, and last week it included two turnips, just two, a big one and a small one. When we divided the veggies with our friends, we got the small turnip. It’s hard to figure out what to do with just one turnip! I had no plans for it until I was getting out the onions for this sauce and decided on a whim to try using the turnip, too. You cannot taste it in the finished sauce, but it added nutrients! It also sweetened the sauce so that I did not need to add any honey or sugar to reduce the “bite”.
Our farm crate also included an entire grocery bag stuffed full of greenhouse-grown kale, in tight clumps with much smaller, curlier leaves than the kale we normally get in the summer. The “2 small heads” used in this recipe produced about 4 cups of shredded kale.
Here are the instructions/ingredients/method for approximately reproducing this batch of sauce:
- Peel and dice 2 small yellow onions.
- Peel 1 tiny turnip and mince into very little bits. (Daniel did this part–I, being less patient and more prone to mincing my fingertips, would have grated it.)
- Place large pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and use large spoon to spread it around to cover bottom of pot. Add onion and turnip. When it starts to sizzle, reduce heat to low.
- Meanwhile, remove leaves of 2 small heads kale from the tough main stems, and shred them.
- Notice strong turnip aroma. Pause the kale-shredding to add to the pot 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 Tbsp. dried basil, and 1 Tbsp. dried oregano. Mix well. Aroma will improve.
- Finish shredding kale. Mix it into the pot. Cook about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are very browned.
- Add 106-oz. can of tomato puree (get these large cans at GFS or Costco), 1 tsp. sea salt, and 5 smallish cloves crushed garlic.
- Turn up heat until sauce starts bubbling, then turn it down just to the point where it is bubbling a little but not so much that it’s difficult to stir safely. Keep a lid on it when not stirring, to reduce splatters onto nearby surfaces.
- Simmer as long as convenient. I gave this batch 53 minutes–longer than usual–and that enhanced the flavor.
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7 thoughts on “Spaghetti Sauce, January 7 Version (with turnip!)”
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What a lovely and nutritious sauce! I have some turnips in my crisper at the moment and this seems a wonderful use for them! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.
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If you use bigger turnips, cut it on a Japanese vegetable cutter (so it’s shaped like pasta) it makes the most glorious alternative to unhealthy wheat spaghetti plus it has a peppery flavor I just adore! I cooked the turnip in the sauce with some wine and artichoke hearts (with the artichoke liquid added) and I am in LOVE!!!!
Wow! I have heard of cutting zucchini to use in place of pasta, and I’ve had spaghetti squash in place of pasta, but I never thought of using turnips that way!
We gradually switched from white pasta to whole-wheat pasta a few years ago, and we’re happy with its role in our diet. But it’s obvious that some people cannot handle eating carbs the way we do and/or have problems digesting wheat in particular. For me, a meal of spaghetti squash with sauce has to include significant protein and fat or it sets off my body’s “not enough food!!!” alarms. But I know lots of people who happily eat it instead of pasta. Just a different type of metabolism, I guess.