Text excerpted from EATING CLEAN,
© 2016 by AMIE VALPONE. Reproduced by permission
of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Author/Recipe photo © LAUREN VOLO.

Serves 4
 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
 1 garlic clove, minced
 ½ cup grape tomatoes, quartered
 2½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil, divided
 3 large rainbow or orange carrots, peeled
 1 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
 ¼ tsp. sweet paprika
 ¼ tsp. sea salt
 ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish

 In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.
 Add the garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the basil and saute until the tomatoes burst and release their juices, about 5 minutes.
 Meanwhile, slice the carrots into ribbons, using either a spiral slicer (aka spiralizer) or a vegetable peeler (this is easiest when you hold the carrot down on a flat surface).
 Add the carrots, Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper to the pan, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tablespoon basil and the pumpkin seeds before serving.

Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

 1 large red bell pepper
 3 cups water
 ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
 1½ cups diced grape tomatoes
 ⅓ cup chopped red onion
 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 1 Tbsp. golden raisins
 1 garlic clove
 ¼ tsp. paprika
 ¼ tsp. sea salt
 ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 Roast the bell pepper by holding it with tongs over a medium flame on a gas stovetop, rotating it for 7 minutes or until charred. Alternatively, cut the pepper in half, lay it on a large rimmed baking sheet, and smash it until flat. Broil on high for 7 minutes or until charred. Let cool for 2 minutes, and place the pepper in a brown paper bag, secure it with a rubber band or twist tie, and let the pepper steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the bag and rub the charred skin off with your fingers. Discard the seeds and chop the pepper into large chunks.
 In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the tomatoes, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid.
 In a food processor, combine the roasted pepper, soaked sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley, raisins, garlic, paprika, salt, and black pepper; puree until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the reserved tomato soaking liquid to thin the sauce. If the sauce is still thicker than desired, add more soaking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time. Serve immediately or freeze in a sealed container for up to 1 month.


Less acid, more flavor: Tomato sauces can be a little too acidic for sensitive stomachs. To lower the acidity and add nutrients, add shredded carrots, zucchini, or chopped kale when sautéing onions in the beginning of the sauce-making. If needed, add a touch of honey, too, to even out the flavor.

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