Thursday 8 September 2016

Very Lazy Pasta Sauce with Brown Rice Penne & Fresh Vegan Pesto

I am writing this blog post in the hope that you will realize that you don’t need to ever buy readymade pasta sauce again or for that matter chopped tomatoes in a can.

If you don’t already know then let me tell you the amount of sugar in ready made sauces is just criminal and as far as chopped tomatoes in a tin go, any veggies or fruits that can last you over a year you need to have a think about what might be in them!

Don’t worry about not getting enough red colour on your sauce with fresh tomatoes, with my little trick you will get the colour and the taste too!

You will need-

4 tomatoes 
1 onion (peeled of course) 
1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed into powder form 
Extra virgin olive oil 
2 cloves of garlic 

Blend the tomatoes and onion into a smooth puree in your blender. I literally chuck the tomatoes in, whole tomatoes! And just peel the onion and throw in that as well. You don’t need to chop anything. All you need is a good blender.

Then you simply eyeball some EV olive oil in a pan, as it heats throw in fennel powder and finely chopped garlic cloves. As these start to cook and release some amazingly yummy aromas, throw in your tomato-onion puree. Let this simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. And for that wonderful red colour add 1 tablespoon of paprika in as well.

You will get a gorgeous colour on your sauce but it wont be a crazy red colour that you are used to seeing. But remember, you are working with fresh produce and it might not be the tomato season and you will get the exact colour as nature intended without any chemicals or sugar in there!

This sauce is multipurpose too and can be the base of so many dishes. Just don’t include the fennel powder and alter the sauce as per your dish and liking. But onion and tomato is a solid base you can work from.

I served my brown rice penne here with courgette, beans and a dollop of home made dairy free vegan pesto. You could eat yours with any other veg such as mushrooms, peppers or fish or chicken or meat… the possibilities are endless!

The greens have just been chopped into bite size chunks and then sautéed in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and garlic and of course seasoned to taste. 

Again, home made pesto is so so simple and is free from any nasties that could be in readymade pesto. And here’s how you can make it.

You will need-

A handful of basil leaves (stalk and all)
Extra virgin olive oil 
Pine nuts 
Lemon Juice 

Place all the ingredients in a mortar and start grinding with the pestle. In just two minutes you are left with fresh and rustic chunky pesto. The best part is that you can control the amount of olive oil here, depending on how oily you want the pesto to be. Let me tell you one  thing, it tastes divine!

Now I am notorious for eyeballing stuff and not measuring so let me know if you would like me to measure the exact amount of basil, olive oil and pine nuts next time and I will do a proper post. 

Let me know if you try this. I will see you soon with another recipe. xox

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