Hey everyone! Thank you so much again for the love on my new recipes. It's been a really lovely and bizarre project for me to do, because I don't think people knew how much I loved to cook! I am not a chef or professional, I've never been taught by anyone other than my nan. So I've been pretty much having to find ways of cooking around people who ate meat, and still be included in the main meals. So this has been more of a project where I could do something totally unrelated to my work and kinda was using it as a form of therapy!
When I realised how many people are vegan today, which is something I've been for my entire life, I realised that there is this big misconception about what vegans eat. I literally would copy as a kid, what my parents would make but I would find ways of making it vegan, so I'm not traditionally trained or whatever, but I know a few tricks to make meals that I've enjoyed completely dairy and meat free! So it is gonna come out in a few interviews I have coming up, but I really had to focus on things I enjoyed and it was therapeutic for me to make things and see it completed and for people to enjoy it.
So here's my third pasta dish! Now I am a spice head, it came from cooking as a kid and leaving my pots of whatever unoccupied in the kitchen to find my father had snuck Ghost Pepper sauces into my meals. And because I'm a diva and I would not show any response to this, I pretended as if they weren't melting my innards when in fact they were. But today I have an immunity to spice so it's my comfort food and definitely my fav.
I really wanted to make an arrabbiata, this is a really delicious tomato, garlic and chilli based sauce and you can have it with a lot of options. One thing that it goes amazingly with, is gnocchi. Now I make gnocchi from scratch from sweet potatoes and it is too delicious so if you guys want me to pop that one up I can! It is mega carby though and you feel like you've eaten a horse.
- Yellow Tomatoes
- Red Tomatoes
- Red Onions
- Black Olives
- Red Large Chilli
- Vegetarian Bacon
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Tomato Puree
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Sweet White Wine
- Onion Salt
- Garlic Salt
- Dried Chillis
- Liquid Smoke
- Vegetable Stock
So this is a really basic sauce you can add a lot to, you normally add rocket to it which is really delicious at the end and maybe if you're keen on vegan parmesan you can grate over the top. I didn't have that today and I really wanted to use Linda McCartney sausages that are based on Chorizo but that was my missing ingredient. Instead, I used what's left over of the bacon. I also use sun-dried tomatoes to give some more texture and they kinda have a texture of meat if you cook them right. We're not gonna fool the carnivores but it's so full of flavour they don't really notice.
So I started off by putting the fusilli on the hob for 12 minutes, I don't do anything dramatic but you do wanna wash the pasta because when you traditionally make a sauce, you use a tablespoon of the liquid to add starch to your sauce and this really thickens it. So wash the pasta first, add some salt if you like.
Then fry off the bacon and sun-dried tomatoes in liquid smoke and set aside. I then began to chop up red onions, I added a white onion which I didn't mention to make it go further. I then added the chilli, salt and pepper. I added a splash of some sweet white wine and a pinch of peppercorns which I cooked off until the pan looked dry again and then added the chopped tomatoes. I threw the bacon and sun-dried tomatoes back into the pan and began to cook them all together and you can estimate the measurements from my images. I don't like to be specific as I want people to make their own thing, which is something I did with my tutorials!
So here is the sauce part, you want to add some prepared chopped tomatoes, I used a carton which has a little less than a conventional can. You can do this totally from can's of food and be mega lazy haha. I added the dried basil, chopped garlic, onion salt, garlic powder, peppercorns, tomato puree and if you want it to be extra sweet you can add some ketchup. I would use dry basil and not fresh.
I cooked this out with olive oil and you put maybe two tablespoons in and this is the part you need to watch. You need the sauce to bubble so turn up the heat, then as soon as it starts to get to that point you turn it back down and you let it simmer until the water in the vegetables starts to completely evaporate. It reduces and intensifies, there is a trick with tomatoes where you reduce them down and they jump up in flavor which I can show in another post. I then threw in the chopped black olives and half a vegetable stock cube which again, adds more of a dense flavor. This is optional but it makes it super comforting.
Once it's been cooking for about twenty minutes you should see the texture thicken. Make sure you watch that it doesn't dry out and if you needed to add some extra liquid, you can use water, do it during this time. You can pop a lid on your dish or pan or whatever. The last five minutes you can take a tablespoon of your pasta liquid and add it to the sauce to thicken it up. You then add the pasta and cook it all out together. Keep pulling the sauce into the pan and you should see a consistent texture and not that much liquid left.
Finally add some fresh rocket and serve as is to your dinner table!
You can let your family help themselves to the portions and serve with some cheese of your choice or some vegan yogurt. It's super easy and isn't so spicy that it feels like you're burning, but it feels like a meal for a winter day or a treat and I hope you guys enjoy!
Now I have a couple more Italian dishes I've been taught that I could bring so let me know what you want and we can keep it going!