Tag Archives: Tomato sauce

Raw Zucchini Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Hi all! Welcome, welcome, I hope you’re all doing great! Now, I’ve got a question. What do you when you’re in a pinch because your starving and you have no desire to fire up the stove to cook up a time consuming whole grain? I know this always happens to you ;). Well, I’ll tell ya what I do, I uncook up a batch of raw zucchini pasta, then I make some fresh tomato sauce that I love to serve warm, plopped on top of my ‘pasta.’ I know, I know, everyone is always raving about raw zucchini pastas and such in this vegan blog-o-sphere. Maybe you’ve already had it, maybe you’ve not yet been convinced. But let me assure you, this recipe is stellar!!! It also couldn’t be easier! It took me a while before I finally made the plunge of making raw pastas (there’s really no plunge to take, this is just so easy, but… I like to exaggerate), however once I did, let me tell ya, I was in gastronomic heaven! This recipe is as easy as can be and it extremely variable. Especially the fresh tomato sauce, use as many tomatoes as you have, double it, half it, add extra herbs, add none. In fact the first time I ever made a tomato sauce, I used a recipe, I have since lost it, so I improvised and realized you really can’t go wrong. Well, unless you accidentally eat the whole recipe of sauce before you’re able to serve it with your pasta. Not that that has almost happened to me a few times now, 😉 shhhh!

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Raw Zucchini Pasta

ingredients:

Zucchini

pinch of sea salt

instructions:

1. Using a vegetable peeler,  grate long linguine-esque ‘noodles’ from the zucchini. It is your choice if you choose to include the skin of the zucchini, I usually don’t simply because I enjoy the appearance and texture of this raw pasta more without it.

2. Sprinkle sea salt all over the zucchini pasta. Toss pasta with your hands to evenly distribute the salt.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

ingredients:

4-5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil (or use less)

3 garlic cloves, chopped

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

your choice of fresh or dried herbs (I enjoy basil and parsley)

instructions:

1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, add chopped garlic, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute garlic until golden.

2. Add tomatoes and dried herbs if using. Mix everything with spoon to incorporate the garlic and salt.

3. Simmer sauce on low heat until mixture becomes ‘pasty’ and sauce like. The tomatoes will break down. I generally like a thinker sauce so I cook it a bit longer to get more tomato juice to evaporate, but feel free to stop whenever the sauce is to a consistency of your liking.

4. Turn off heat and stir in chopped fresh herbs.

*note: if you like a smoother sauce, puree in a blender until smooth, I have yet to do this so I can use this sauce as a pizza sauce!

 

Now, you can go ahead, combine the sauce and the pasta, and enjoy your pretty little self a huge guiltless plate of Italian comfort, healthy vegan style!

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Un pasto italiano: eggplants, tofu ricotta, and tomatoes

After taking Italian 101 with a special program that allows high school students to take classes at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I am official in love with the beautiful language! I love learning languages and I’ve always dreamed of speaking Italian, so of course I grabbed the opportunity when I had the chance! Anyway, the reason I bring this up was because I was in the mood for some Italian culture, so what did I do… I decided to cook un pasto italiano (an Italian meal)!!!! My dad have recently brought home two eggplants for me that someone had given him, and after brainstorming numerous ideas of what to make, I once again kind of created my own dish, I guess I will call it Baked Grilled Eggplant with Vegan Tofu Ricotta and Tomato Sauce. Whew, that’s a bit of a windy title, no? But who cares about the title because this dish was delizioso!!! Served alongside some sauteed pearl onion, this fit my idea of a lovely Italian meal. Authentic or not? I don’t really know, but hey, I’ll find out in two weeks when I’m in the glorious country itself!

I ever so slightly adapted this tofu ricotta recipe by swapping the tahini for plain hummus and it was delectable, in fact I ate a lot of it by spoon before I could even put my dish together! I actually had never though of using hummus in place of tahini before, but now that I have I am thrilled. Tahini is a part of many recipes, but usually just in small amounts. Due to the cost of tahini, and the fact that the amount needed is mimimal, I rarely buy it and usually end up leaving it out altogether, which always leaves out the true full flavor. I loved my hummus substitute thought, with it’s similar texture and taste (kind of) it worked perfectly and since hummus is something that is always in my fridge, tutti i giorni!, it is always accessible! I can’t wait to make it again to put in other recipes, I’m already dreaming up a recipe to resemble the homemade ricotta filled ravioli I made in seventh grade, only now with a health/animal/environment friendly version!

An after thought to this recipe was using homemade tomato sauce, I think the flavors would meld even more delectably, so try it out!

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Baked Grilled Eggplant with Vegan Tofu Ricotta and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

2 large purple eggplants, cut into vertical slices

olive oil for brushing

one 15 oz. can of tomato sauce or 15 0z. homemade tomato sauce

one recipe of tofu ricotta (recipe to follow)

Instructions:

-preheat oven to 350˚

1. With a pastry brush, brush the eggplant slices so they are lightly covered in olive oil.

2. Grill on each side until they are soft with nice grill marks.

3. Layer half the slices in a medium sized glass baking dish, top with half of the tofu ricotta, half the tomato sauce and then repeat with the other half of the ingredients.

4. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.

Tofu Ricotta Cheese (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:DSC00286

1 block extra firm tofu

2 Tablespoons plain hummus

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

1. Crumble tofu into a large bowl.

2. Add all other ingredients and mix with spoon or hands until well incorporated.

-enjoy!-

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