I have Italian heritage so was raised on wonderful tomato-based pasta sauces that my nonna used to make. Unfortunately, I also grew up with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I was fortunate to discover, in my 20’s, that nightshades were a big contributing factor to the aches and pains that I suffered. In giving up nightshades I found that I could also give up my anti-inflammatory medication.

What are nightshades you ask? Tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, and capsicum all belong to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). Why nightshades contribute to the aches and pains of arthritis is not clear as not everyone is sensitive to these foods. However, if you’ve tried everything else with little success there is no harm in giving up nightshades for a few months and seeing if you feel better. You can also try reading my article on 7 great tips for a pain-free arthritis this winter.  Giving up nightshades, however, posed a big question for me – what was I going to put on my pasta? Luckily I discovered this wonderful sauce in Aveline Kushi’s Complete guide to macrobiotic cooking for health harmony and peace. Not only is this sauce free of potentially inflammatory foods but it is filled with foods that are specifically anti-inflammatory. This is a delicious sauce to enjoy, even if nightshades are not an issue for you.

Ingredients 

  • 1 small beet, including greens so get a lush one
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp herbamare salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 L spring water
  • pinch each of dried oregano and basil

Method

  1. Saute the onions and garlic in a little coconut oil until they are soft and translucent
  2. Chop the beet greens, dice the beets and add to the pot
  3. Slice the carrots and celery and add to the pot
  4. Add water, salt and herbs and pressure cook together for 20 min or boil for 45 min
  5. Puree the vegetables to make the sauce
  6. Enjoy over any style of pasta including spiralized zucchini

Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.

For further information on Chinese Medicine  contact  Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Wholefood counselling).    Tania is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine  (AHPRA  registered) in  Kingsford  and  is a Contract Academic  at the  Endeavour College of Natural Health  Sydney campus.