Sunday dinners with family and friends are a treasured ritual in many homes and, not surprisingly, the heart of the meal is often pasta. The lovely aromas of simmering pasta sauce sets the stage for luscious lasagna, creamy fettuccini, spaghetti bolognese and butternut squash ravioli. Yet, pasta can come with a cost for many of us. Tomato based sauces can be quite high in acid and can trigger stomach, gut and even bladder irritation. If you ﬁnd that you’re getting up at night after a meal of pasta, you are deﬁnitely not alone.
Despite the high acid levels, tomatoes provide some incredibly beneﬁcial nutrients and life giving bioﬂavonoids such as vitamins C and K, potassium, biotin, lycopene, beta carotene, and more. The secret is to keep the acid levels down while enjoying these lovely Italian ﬂavors. If you make homemade pasta sauce, visit your local farmers’ market and look for pink or yellow heirloom tomatoes. Lighter colored tomatoes usually signal lower acid content. Cherry tomatoes are a wonderful option to cook with. Look for Sungold, Yellow Pear, Sweet 100 varieties! To locate a farmers’ market near you, visit Local Harvest and search using your zip code.
If you are an avid gardener, considering planting lower acid tomato varieties such as Golden Sunray, Georgia Streak, Big Rainbow, Marvel Strip and others. You can even cluster other plants with your tomatoes based on your favorite meals! For example, you can plan a pasta garden (tomatoes, oregano, and basil plants), a Mexican garden (tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro), or a salad garden (tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, green onions, and cucumbers). Have fun with it, knowing in the end you can have delicious meals using produce grown in your own back yard.
If family meals require your attendance and you can’t bear to disappoint the cook by not eating their pasta, try using Prelief to reduce the acid. Three caplets of Prelief will reduce up to 60% of the acid in 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and up to 84% of the acid in 1/2 cup of pizza sauce.
“NoMato” Pasta Sauce With Garden Vegetables
- 6 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 beet, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 bay leaf, whole
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley, choppe
Place ingredients in a pot and boil, covered, for 30 minutes until soft. Remove bay leaf then puree in a blender. Add water, if needed, until mixture has tomato sauce texture. Add seasonings, salt & pepper to taste and serve over your favorite pasta.