Sunday, May 9, 2010
Kalamata Olive Red Wine Garlic Spaghetti Sauce (kind of) and a Spinach Basil Chopped Salad
I personally do not like spaghetti noodles, so when I make a red sauce it always goes on these elbow noodles. Yum! Plus, the sauce sits in the noodle so you get more of it! You will want it with this sauce.
I got a giant frying pan out (don't use teflon! It is banned in Canada and I think also the entire European Union because it emits toxic gases that kills birds and small animals, plus it gets into your food!). I saute a ton of crushed garlic in olive oil and then add at least one can of diced tomatoes. You can use fresh tomatoes also, you just have to boil them and then immediately put them into an ice bath in order to get their little skins off. Anyhow, saute the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil and add the spices you want to use. I used oregano, tarragon, salt, pepper, and more fresh garlic. Then add in kalamata olives (pitted). Once it is almost done, add walnut cream (recipe below) or a cashew cream and a little bit of red wine. This makes the tomato sauce really creamy and gives it a lot more depth. Mix in the noodles (after you have boiled them al dente) and cook the noodles for about 1 minute in the sauce. We served this with a sourdough baguette with some earth balance vegan butter (it is made of olive oil and tastes just like butter!).
Cashew cream or walnut cream are easy to make, but you can always purchase them from your local health food store or buy them online. A great store online is veganessentials.com. To make a nut cream (that you can use in your coffee, as a whipped topping, or in recipes like this), you just take raw, unsalted cashews (or other nuts, macadamias are great for a sweet recipe), and soak them overnight in the fridge covered in water. The next morning, put them in your blender or food processor with new fresh cold water that covers them by one inch. Blend. The finer blend you get, the better. You can adjust how creamy you want the sauce by how much water you put in, if you put in a lot of water you can actually make a cashew milk and if you put in just a little water you will get a sour cream consistency sauce (which is great with a little brown sugar and vanilla mixed in and topped over berries). People forget that nuts are just amazing little vehicles for creamy yummy fat....but a good kind of fat (unlike dairy cream). I would mess around with creating your own nut butter/cream/milk/sauce at home. Also, if you want you can take this mixture and add probiotics (just like the ones you may take in pill form) and make your own cheese at home out of nuts!
When I was in California for school back in 2000, I used to eat this amazing chopped salad at this wonderful restaurant called Tutti's in Montecito. OMG. Normal salad has such big chunks of things that you only get one or two tastes on every spoonful, but a chopped salad can combine many many tastes in each bite! The other nice thing about a chopped salad is you just put the whole veggies right into a food processor...you don't have to chop them all up into tiny bite sized portions! So easy! This is what was in my salad:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
Handful of Basil
Yum! So many veggies and so easy to incorporate them all into one dish! :)