Q: "My husband and children have a tomato intolerance, but I really miss my lasagne! What can I use as a replacement to recipes with tomatoes?"
K. Tilda, via email
A: Registered nutritionist Bronwen King responds.
While I can’t think of a single commercial product that could successfully replace canned tomatoes in savoury dishes, I do have some suggestions:
Make large quantities of tomato-free pasta sauce (see below). Freeze in portions and use in place of canned tomatoes in recipes such as pasta sauces and lasagne.
Make your own savoury plum sauce. Reduce the sugar in a normal plum sauce recipe. Use this in cooking instead of tomato paste on pizzas, for example.
Use a traditional (sweeter) plum sauce instead of tomato sauce.
Use puréed carrot or pumpkin (or canned pumpkin or carrot soup) in dishes requiring tomato purée.
Tomato-free pasta sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 large carrot, chopped 1 red capsicum, chopped 1 zucchini or 1 large stick celery, chopped 1 1/2 cups reduced-salt vegetable stock (tomato-free) 2 tablespoons plum sauce
Cook vegies in oil for a few minutes. Add stock. Cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add plum sauce. Simmer for a few minutes. Purée. Season to taste. For an Italian flavour, add garlic and fresh herbs.