Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tomato Sauce + Jalapeno Pasta

So here I am. After MONTHS of absence.


Good. Because it's about to be fucking summer. And I will have a lot of free time to cook shit, take pictures of it, and talk about it online.

Also: I went to Pike Place Market the other day. And even though it's famous for all it's fish-throwing...

 it's actually chock-full of vegan treats. Including this delicious cinnamon bun from a place called "Cinnamon Works."

And there are vegan-friendly lattes and mighty oh donuts at a cute coffee shop.

There are also a plethora of specialty / gourmet shops where you can buy oils and stuff. Which as a vegan, you know how important good-quality oils are in cooking.


But the best place to go as a vegan is this pasta stall in middle of the market with a variety of different vegan pastas for your enjoyment. All vegan ones (and even gluten-free ones!) are labeled!

So I bought some pasta on a whim the other day. It was green jalapeno fettuccine!! FUCKING DELICIOUS-SOUNDING.

So of course I needed a sauce to go over it. I ended up googling "vegan tomato sauce" just to see what came up. Up popped a blog called Vegan Vermonter. He has an 'epic tomato sauce' I simply had to try.

Historical Question: Was the most epic vegan tomato sauce born in Vermont?

Answer, based on current reseach: Perhaps.

Vegan Vermonter's Epic Tomato Sauce

-2.5 lbs. canned tomatoes (I used a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, and a 14-oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes this time, but the prep and texture are completely flexible)
-1 medium yellow onion, diced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-4-5 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (I really like thyme here actually, but the oregano was fresher)
-2 tsp brown sugar
-3/4 tsp salt (maybe a little more? only a taste will tell)
-black pepper to taste
-half decent olive oil (don’t break the bank, but remember that it is a key flavor component to the sauce)

Now what I did was basically replace green pepper for the red pepper (I thought a pop of green would look good in the sauce, plus I like the flavor better).

I also used only thyme instead of oregano since the dude said he liked that better.

Here's how Mr. Vermont-Man says you do it:

1. First, get a nice big saucepan going on medium-low heat. You want a temperature that gets your onions entirely transparent before they begin to color.

2. Add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan (like 3 or 4 tablespoons?), followed by the onion and bell pepper. Give everyone a good stir and let them slowly begin to sweat. You won’t need to pay much attention to this process, just a little stir now and then to prevent whatever surface is touching the pan from cooking faster than the rest of it.

 3. Once your onion and pepper are all the way see through and a little bit golden, you can add the garlic. Give it a nice stir and resume the slow golden-ing process.  : )

4. When all the aromatics have a nice gentle golden color (not browned), you can add the tomatoes. Stir them for a while at first to ensure they combine well with the ingredients in the pan, and then turn the heat down to low so that they can simmer.

5. Stir the sauce around only as often as is necessary to prevent the bottom from burning, and when the temperature in the pan has caught up to your adjustment of the burner, add the sugar and salt.

6. Continue to slowly allow moisture to escape, stirring when needed. Eventually the sauce will reduce to a point that the water/oil balance changes where the sauce contacts the pan. The bubbling that occurs for most of the cooking process will slow considerably, and hissing will also be audible. When you’ve reached this point, taste test and adjust the salt and pepper. If you feel you can continue to drive water out without changing the color of the tomatoes, then you should probably try and do that, you don’t want the tomatoes to actually brown though. If you’re going to push, taste often to make sure things aren’t getting out of hand. If it does go a little funky you can usually rescue it with a bit more sugar as long as you catch it soon enough. Don’t feel obligated to take a risk though with your 3 hours of work, if most of the excess liquid is gone, then you’re good to go as is, anything more is a bonus. Stir in the fresh oregano, give it a few seconds to come to temperature, and then remove the pan from the heat.

7. Meanwhile (this is my addition), cook your pashta. :D

So the issue is....I didn't have forever and a half to make this bullshit. I only read the


part after I had already started making it.

Anyways. My point is, I did it all. But I certainly got hungry before the three hour mark. So it's not as well marinated / cooked as it should be.

I liked it though!


Deliciousness: 4/5
If it had more time to simmer / cook, I bet the sauce would be less chunky and salsa-like. It was a fantastic blend of flavors, though.

Prettiness: 4/5
Red and green sauce with green noodles! Cute! :D

Ease of Preparation: 2/5
Three hours of cooking is not something I like to do when I'm hungry. But maybe it's worth it. I don't know.

1 comment:

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