Wednesday, 28 September 2011

My other two favourite pasta sauces

My mommy makes THE best traditional pasta sauce.  When we were little we always got to choose our what we would have for our "birthday dinner".  Every year without fail, I picked mom's pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce.
I have made it a few times on my own, but it takes a while.
Here are my two new (other) favourite (quicker, easier) ways to top pasta these days.

The first is an avacado base...mmmmm

Creamy avacado pasta, topped with seasonal fiddleheads.

This recipe was copied and pasted from 

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, to taste (I used 3 and it was quite garlicky, but if you are not a big fan of garlic use 1 clove)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ~1/4 cup Fresh Basil, (probably optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta (I used 3oz of spelt and 3 oz of Kamut spaghetti)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
  • 3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
  • Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.
Now, I think that its fine to keep the extra sauce (which I have done) and toss on warm pasta another time.  I figured after the last note, that the sauce would brown, and it didn't.

This is my go to when my avacados are about to get a little too ripe (or I use them for pudding... I will post that another time. yum).  This is such an easy dinner to make. I get the sauce ready while the pasta is cooking. 

I often sautee other vegetables to top the pasta. My favourite so far was in the early summer- garlic and earth balance sauteed fiddle heads.  Other vegetables work well, such as asparagus, or peas....

I have also heard of others adding nutritional yeast to the sauce too.  I want to try this too.

The second is a creamy tomato sauce.  Also found on (recipe) (My pictures)

I LOVE this one too.  Now each time I made it, it turned out a little bit differently.  (Perhaps because my recipe following isn't exactally precise).
My husband and I enjoyed it the most when we used the leftover sauce the second day (why is pasta sauce always better the second day?).  On that night I cooked up a little garlic in olive oil, as well as chunks of tomatoes and mushrooms and mixed that in with the pasta.  Sooo yummy.
I'm a big fan of making a simple recipe more difficult by adding extra veg.  Guess that's the mommy in me.

Here she is:
Ingredients (2-3 servings)
  • 2 servings uncooked spaghetti (I used Kamut)
  • 1 large ripe tomato or two smaller tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp water or wine, (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Chop tomato and add it to the blender (including skin and seeds). Now add the cashews, water, and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.
  • 2. Add your pasta to boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • 3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to low. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes being careful not to burn it.
  • 4. Pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet, stir, and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, watching closely. You may add water or wine to thin out the sauce to you desired consistency, but this is not necessary.
  • 5. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the chopped basil and pepper. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse and drain it. Add the drained pasta back in the pot and now gradually add pasta sauce until your desired amount is achieved. Stir and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings, likely with sauce leftover.

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