Pasta, pasta, pasta! Who doesn’t love pasta? Strangely enough, pasta has been the glue that holds my family together. And no we aren’t Italian. You see, I’ve been a veggie since I was 15 years old and my husband has been a meat eater (aka not a veggie eater) since he was born. As you would expect, dinners are difficult. But pasta is a meal we both enjoy because we can both eat it our own “special” way. He can add his meatballs and I can add my veggies. We tend to have pasta at least once a week and today is that day.
This is my first time making pasta as a vegan, and when I checked the label on our go-to sauce, Ragu, I found out that it has added cheese, sugar and salt. So my challenge today is to make a sauce that we can both enjoy. Did I mention that he likes really smooth sauce with no tomato chunks, and I like chunky sauce with lots of veggies? No? Yeah, now you see the depth of my sauce issues.
While researching vegan sauce recipes I came across a sauce made from fresh tomatoes and then another made with canned tomatoes. I want to try both, but I decided to start with the fresh tomato recipe. I love the challenge of taking whole tomatoes, which my husband hates, and making it into a smooth and silky sauce he loves! Game on!
Authentic tomato marinara sauce from fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic.
Author: Wellness Mama Recipe type: Sauce Cuisine: Italian Serves: 6-8
- 5 pounds of fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded (to peel, cut a small “x” on the top and drop in to boiling water for 10 seconds and drop in to an ice bath. Skin will easily peel off) I only had 3 lbs so I altered the other ingredients
- ¼ cup olive oil (or tallow) I didn’t use oil,
- 3 medium onions, diced I used 2
- 8 cloves of fresh garlic (or more to taste), finely minced I used 5 but could have used more
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped I used all of this, can’t have too much fresh basil
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme leaves (or ½ tsp dried) So I used a sprig but I stripped the leaves and chopped, because I didn’t read the instructions 🙂
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano) Same as above
- 2 bay leaves (remove when done)
- 2 sprigs of parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 carrot (1/2 should be grated and added to sauce, the other half should be added at the end of cooking and then removed)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon honey I didn’t use honey
- Mushrooms – I added mushrooms to the sauce because I like to put stuff in my sauce that my husband wouldn’t normally eat. Shhhhhhh
- Tomato Paste I added half a can at the end because it looked a little lacking in the red color.
- Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot over medium heat. Skip this, because the veggies have enough liquid in them to saute.
- Add diced onions, garlic and grated carrots.
- Saute for 6-8 minutes or until onions are translucent and tender.
- Add tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, oregano, thyme bay leaves, parsley and sea salt.
- Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours or until cooked down and starting to darken.
- Add carrot piece for the last 30 minutes to absorb acidity.
- Remove sprigs of herbs and piece of carrot.
- Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree sauce until smooth (for a thicker sauce, skip this step.) I put it all in my blender and made it super-duper smooth, just how my hubs likes it.
- Use fresh or store in the fridge up to 1 week, or can it according to your canner’s instructions for tomato products. I actually froze the rest in plastic bags.
- I also used pasta that was quinoa and golden flax seed to bump up the protein a little.
So hubs ate it (with meatballs) and of course he liked it! He said it wasn’t a very strong flavor, but he liked it! Unfortunately, I have a bad cold and tasting food isn’t on my “can do” list.
Update: I did defrost some and had it with pasta and lentils and I have to say, it was DELISH!! I think the longer it sits the more the flavor melds together. Oh and I can taste again!