Last night I made some delicious butternut squash bowls with (of course, grassfed) beef instead topped with sauce. Sadly, this meal was impromptu and I hadnt any time to blend a sauce together, grabbed some Trader Joes marinara sauce to use.
To prevent this, I should pre-make sauce. What're your favorite recipes when you feel like "paleo pasta" ?
I have made my own marinara sauce for ages:
Saute onions until translucent, add garlic and whatever herbs you want (I usually use dried oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes). Saute for another moment or two and then I add wine. Continue cooking until liquid is reduced to almost nothing and add tomatoes. When I don't have a lot of fresh tomatoes or don't have time/desire to process them, I use Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes, whole (put into a bowl and crushed by hand) or diced and another can of crushed. Simmer until all flavors marry and it tastes good.
I don't measure things when I'm making it and have perfected it through trial and error. It freezes really well and I've even canned it for Christmas gifts.
Edit: I should mention that I have made it without wine and it tasted fine, I just prefer the depth of flavor the wine adds. I've made it with both red and white, it usually just depends on what I have open or on hand. Make sure it is drinkable wine and NOT fortified "cooking" wine.
I make a raw sauce. Wash some Roma tomatoes, throw them in a blender with salt, olive oil, garlic, pepper, dried basil and dried oregano, buzz it up. Very quick, very tasty.
Awesome on spaghetti squash.
Meat is key for a really hearty sauce! My mother swears by pork. We always bake the pork chops on low-ish heat until it's cooked on the outside (but not totally cooked through), and then add them into the sauce and let it simmer away for hours. You can do the same with Italian sausage as well, and meatballs of course- but be careful with the latter as meatballs tend to sometimes fall apart if they cook too long in the sauce and there's too much stirring. So if you want the meatballs in the sauce to soak up some of that flavor, add them in last, and don't stir too much. The addition of meat to your sauce not only makes it more filling, it also really adds to the depth of flavor. It's best to make your sauce with fresh tomatoes, but you can also buy them cheap in the summer and freeze them for use in the winter and end up with a perfectly delicious sauce. Depending on the acidity of your tomatoes, you can try adding a little Sugar In The Raw to balance that. Other spices to try include LOTS of garlic, oregano, fresh basil, thyme, salt and bay leaves...remember the flavor of the sauce will change as it simmers, especially if you add meat, so taste it often and adjust as needed. as mentioned above, it does freeze wonderfully, so make a biiiig pot of it in the summer when fresh ingredients are available, and freeze it to warm you up during the winter.
This is my Nonni's sauce recipe (more or less.. to taste). It is a super simple Sicilian style sauce without basil or garlic, but you can add those if you want. You can use fresh or organic canned tomatoes, which help cook it faster and bring out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.
1 large white onion, chopped, sauteed until clear in a bit of olive oil. If you don't use olive oil, I would use an animal lard or butter rather than coconut oil - it would mess with the taste. Add in some oregano now, it helps pull the flavor out.
If using canned, add tomato paste first, cook onions down further with it to caramelize the tomato paste and onions, then add whole peeled canned tomatoes, crushed by hand or chopped up. More oregano (if needed), and only salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for about an hour, the longer, the better, especially if you use fresh tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are best because they are low moisture and low seed, which helps them cook down faster and ideal for sauces. One of her tricks to making an "aged" taste is to add Romano cheese (which she also does in her meatballs, which are the best ever, though she puts bread crumbs in hers, I just add one extra egg and they bind just fine because we fry them in olive oil before putting them in the sauce, which helps them brown up and get a nice crust that holds them together). I love Locatelli's Pecorino Romano.. amazing. It makes it sweet, savory and very hearty. Great to add browned ground meat to for a super tasty meat sauce. I make "meat lasagna" all the time, just extra onions for sweetness and texture, browned meat, and the sauce in a casserole dish, baked a bit for additional melding of flavors. Or out of the pot I call it "Italian Chili".
Pesto is wonderful too -
2 cups of arugula 2 cups of basil 1/2 cup of parmesan (if you do dairy), can sub with almond meal or nutritional yeast as well 3/4 cup of nuts (walnuts, pine nuts and almonds work best) olive oil, flax seed oil, avocado oil
Grind nuts in food processor. Add arugula and basil slowly until it is all chopped finely. Begin to pour in olive oil, pouring slowly and stopping altogether every 10 seconds to allow it to integrate. Keep going until it comes together as a sauce with a creamy consistency and a taste you enjoy. I end up using about 1/2 cup of EVOO typically. If you use flax, you can't heat up the sauce - just keep that in mind.
I make my spaghetti with zucchini. I run it through a mandolin to get legit noodles that look and feel like spaghetti. I then saute it with this olive oil that has Italian herbs already in it.
Usually I brown grass-fed ground beef or maybe some chopped sausages with mushrooms, add a couple cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatos, basil, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, a little salt, and a splash of chili oil. Kickass!
I use Zucchini noodles for my pasta and have some meatballs for dinner. I mash all the ingredients together in a bowl. For the sauce, i added a homemade one and poured it over the meatballs. This is one of my favorite paleo recipes in my list. Just in case you want to try Meatballs with Garlic and Fresh Basil, Spaghetti, Sauce, check this recipe http://www.paleopancakesandmore.com/2012/06/21/meatballs-with-garlic-and-fresh-basil-spaghetti-sauce-and-summer-fun/
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