Monday, July 30, 2007

's All in the Sauce

You don't have to be a great cook to make a great red sauce for easy dishes such as this simple lasagna. Ya just have to start things early.
Tho I've yet to fully tap into the Italian gene my mom seems to possess that makes her tomato sauce easily the best anyone has ever, anywhere....I really like the way mine turns out just the same.

The key is in having a few hours to really let the tomatoes cook down. I should have increased the sauce I made by half, but live and learn. This just got better each day, the tofu rinotta even creamier with each serving.

Easy Tomato Sauce

2 cans chopped tomatoes (i use no salt added)
4 T tomato paste (i'm in love with the squeeze tube kind. why they ever thought to sell that stuff in a can i'll never know)
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic (tho i'm pretty sure i used four or five)
sea salt
black pepper
sugar (yup, you heard me)

1. heat oil in saucepan over med heat.
2. add garlic and saute til it releases it's garlicky good aroma, but be careful not to burn
3. pour in two cans tomoatoes. stir.
4. add oregano, thyme, salt, pepper to taste. stir
5. toss in a good couple pinches of sugar (this, for me, cuts the acidity a bit and gives it a flavor i prefer. you won't need very much. it's a very subtle thing)
6. cover and allow to come to a boil, stirring often.
7. reduce heat to med low to low and stir occationally.
8. simmer for at least a few hours (i think mine was on the stove for four hours or just over).
9. use at will.

or serve in layers of whole wheat pasta & tofu riNOTta (baked in a 375 oven for thirty min covered and 25-30 uncovered), with a side of what else, garlic broccoli!


lao80 said...

Where is the tofu rinotta recipe from?

Unknown said...

That looks awesome (and so do the chick pea patties)!

Anonymous said...

looks great!
did you make the tofu ricotta or buy it?

Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! said...

Thanks everyone. The tofu riNOTta is really just my own version of VWaV's basil tofu ricotta. I've made Isa's version so many times that I don't use a recipe anymore, just mash the tofu, add lots of fresh garlic, some sea salt, lemon juice, fresh basil, mash some more, add a bit of olive oil and nutritional yeast and viola!

I used to press the hell out of the tofu first but now have found that getting most of the water out but leaving it still a bit wet yields a less dry final product that ends up creamier in dishes like these after baking.

funny, I thought this dish was a bit too boring to post about but it's sooooo yummy and feeds that craving this Italian girlie has for yummy lasagna. next time I'm loading it up with veggies. Mmmmmmm.

Poonam said...

Looks great! Got here from your comment on Crystal's blog..

Teresa said...

I think you're right about the just being patient and putting time into the tomato sauce. Isn't everything better when we work and wait for it? THe lasagna looks great!

vko said...

Yum! I am making sauce tonight- and I love that name tofu riNotta- hehe.

Judy said...

Oh yum! Amazing how something as simple as homemade tomato sauce is revered as difficult or special. I agree about the sugar, it does make a difference, but I will need to mimic your patience, as I never leave mine simmer that long!

Unknown said...

I always roast my tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and basil for 10 mins, then make a passata out of it and go on from there. I don't know if that helps or not...the tomatoes are fresh from the garden so I expect that changes the taste.

I do love the look of the dish though, yummy :)


Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

yep, nothing like making yr own sauce. yr pasta bake looks great!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

your lasagna looks fantastic - I love the abundance of fresh ingredients you use, and that you made your own tomato sauce; yum!

Beth said...

You know i made this sauce a few years back from an internet recipe for a work banquet lasagne... and i loved it so much, but i must have thrown the silly thing away, can't find it anyway... anyway, the point of my tangent is that it had cinnamon (yes the spicy stuff that goes in rice pudding) in it, and i swear that's what made the taste... end tangent... looks yummmm.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That looks SO delicious!

Sezar Soups said...

me and my girlfriend came up with the rinotta recipe 10 years ago in minneapolis and sold it to pizza luce. i just googled it and see it has gotten around. cool!
got more recipes on myspace blog.