Tonight, I attempted to make the best pasta sauce I have ever made. You know, the one that comes to mind when you think of a big plate of spaghetti combined with a delicious sauce, served with bread rolls on top of a red and white checkered tablecloth. Yes, that kind of pasta! The one that is featured in countless movies. Only this version is completely vegan.
Despite my many previous attempts to create the best pasta sauce in history, I have never succeeded – until tonight. This sauce has the perfect balance between sweet, salty and sour. It leans a little more to the sweet side, which is just what my tastebuds need in order to find this sauce absolutely brilliant. Feel free to adjust the amount of seasoning according to your own preference. Please note that this is not completely without sodium as the recipe includes tamari. This can easily be substituted or omitted. Just make sure you adjust the amount of sugar if you decide to to skip the salt completely.
This recipe will give you a good amount of leftovers. Being a high carb vegan means big portions, so this amount of sauce combined with a kilo, or two lb., of corn flour spaghetti will yield two to four big portions.
For the sauce base:
1 kilo, 2 lb., of canned, crushed tomatoes (no sodium!)
1 ½ dl, just about half a cup of tomato purée (no sodium!)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika powder
3 cloves of garlic
1 dust of cinnamon (be very careful with this as it easily can be overpowering)
2-6 tbsp of coconut sugar (adjust according to you liking)
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2-4 tbsp tamari
1 kilo, 2 lb., of mushrooms – I used ordinary champignons
1 large white onion
1 kilo, or 2 lb., of corn pasta – I used spaghetti. (N.B. you can divide the leftovers from the sauce into portions and store them in your freezer. If you do, make sure you adjust the amount of pasta so you do not end up with more than you can consume)
1 bellpepper – I used a yellow one
Begin with the sauce base. Put the tomatoes and tomato purée in a pot and press the garlic cloves into the pot. On medium heat, bring the base to a simmer and then season with the rest of the sauce ingredients. I recommend you start small and then add more as the flavors take a little bit of time to combine and develop, especially when it comes to cinnamon. Give the sauce a taste every now and then and add more of any ingredient if you like. Once you are satisfied, turn the heat to low and let it sit on the stove until the rest is ready.
Chop the mushrooms into fine bits, shred the carrots roughly and chop up the onion. Put the mushrooms in a large pot and let them fry until almost all liquid has evaporated. Make sure you stir well at the end of this process as you do not wish for them to stick to the bottom of the pot. Throw in the carrots and onion and stir. Let the carrots and onion soften slightly or completely, that is up to you. Personally, I prefer them to be only somewhat soft. Give the veggies a taste to see what you prefer.
Once you are satisfied with the texture of the veggies, lower the heat quite a bit and add the sauce. Stir and let the veggie sauce combine for a few minutes. The longer it cooks the more the flavors will develop. I did not have enough patience, so I removed it from the stove after about 10 minutes.
Cook the pasta while the veggie sauce is cooking. Following the instructions on the packet.
Wash the lettuce leaves and chop the bell pepper finely.
Once everything is ready to be served, you can enjoy it in many different ways. I made lettuce boats and sprinkled some bell pepper on top, which was incredibly delicious.
I truly hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. And please, do yourself a favor and purchase only organic alternatives of the ingredients listed.
Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!