I’m writing this recipe for myself as much as anyone because this is the first time I’ve managed to make a really great tasting, purely vegetarian red sauce. And I want to remember how I did it! lol
So, just had the sauce with pasta for dinner, and it was rich and delicious. Please note though, I called this a ‘vegetarian’ red sauce. Not vegan. The ingredients include a bit of butter and some cream cheese. That said, you could leave out those two ingredients and I think it would still taste as good, just perhaps not as ‘rich’.
- 1/2 a brown onion, chopped fine
- 1/3 of a red onion [leftover] chopped fine [the red onion adds a bit of sweetness but if you don’t have, simply add a bit more brown onion]
- 1 medium tomato with seeds removed and chopped fine
- 1/2 a sweet red capsicum [bell pepper?] chopped fine
- 2 large cloves of garlic – minced [I do it with a knife rather than the squeezy gadget as you lose too much garlic otherwise]
- 1 sachet of Leggo’s tomato paste [2 tablespoons]
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder [the Hungarian one if you can manage it]
- a pinch of chilli flakes [for just a little bit of ‘heat’. Substitute a small pinch of cayenne if you don’t have the flakes]
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of peanut oil [or olive if you prefer]
- cream cheese [2 of the Philadelphia Snack tubs, 34gms each] or 2 tablespoons of either cream or sour cream
- Place the oil in the frying pan with the butter [if using] and very gently cook the two kinds of onions and garlic until the onions are almost translucent. I used a heavy cast iron frying pan which gives a very even heat. If you don’t have one, turn the heat down as low as possible so the onions ‘sweat’ very gently. You do NOT want them to brown.
- Add the capsicum, chopped tomato, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes and keep cooking until the two vegetables have softened a little.
- Add the tomato paste and stir in.
- Add the paprika powder and stir in.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of water and stir in [just to stop the paprika from burning].
- Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Check the sauce and add about 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook while you boil the pasta.
- After the pasta has cooked [approx. 15 minutes], check the sauce. It should now be fairly thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Take the sauce off the heat and swirl in the cream cheese [or cream or sour cream].
- Drain the pasta, place in a large bowl and pour over the sauce. Toss and voila! Dinner is served.
I never seem to put enough salt into anything I cook so you will probably have to sprinkle some over the pasta after serving. From a health point of view, this is probably not such a bad thing as too much salt isn’t good for. 😉
And finally, you may have noticed… that there is no picture of the dish. That’s because we ate it all before I remembered that I needed one. Sorry.