Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Vegan Parma Rosa Sauce

(and my second attempt at ferina de ceci, or chickpea flatbread, but that's another post)*

Chickpea Flatbread with Vegan Parma Rosa
Have you tried countless recipes for 'The Best EVER Vegan Mac 'n Cheese!'? Yeah, me too.  I can honestly say I've made so many different varieties, they're all pretty much a jumble of nutritional yeasty, beany, veggie, cashew-laden cream sauces in my head. I'm glad I blogged a few of them or I'd never be able to distinguish one memory from another.

I really haven't met one I didn't like.  I'm never looking for it to taste just like the mac 'n cheese of my pregan days, but I am looking for something that I could eat over and over again as the recipes usually make a ton of sauce, and I'm the only one in the house really eating it. Typically, I like eating the same thing for days as batch cooking means one day of serious kitchen time, the rest of the week just salad prep and play time with my family. Usually though, with vegan cheeze sauces, I'm meh about them come day two. Especially with the cashew based sauces. They're too sweet. Too......cashew-y. I love me some cashews, but for me, the flavor gets old. fast. 

As was the case when I tried this recipe. It was great that first night, mixed with white, red, and black quinoas, tossed with sauteed red bell pepper, carrot, and broccoli.
It was creamy, mellow, but maybe a tad too sweet. I tried to cut the sweet with a little extra lemon juice, and it was really good. But I knew I wasn't really wanting to eat it for days. 

Enter a jar of sun dried tomatoes. I always have them on hand for salads, pestos, and the occasional creole sauce. In a grand stroke of Let's See What This Does!, I took about 6 oz. of the sauce and added 2T of the tomatoes. They're packed in oil so I blotted them with paper towels first then combined them into the sauce with my immersion blender. Next, I added about a tsp each of oregano and basil. 
I tasted it. 

Parma Rosa, plated. I really need to stop watching Top Chef) with roasted broccoli and Crash Hot Potato.

Suddenly I was transported to my earliest twenty-something days when the Cap'n and I worked at a pizza joint all night and slept most of the day away. We lived on ramen, canned things, and the ever popular $1 a packet Knorr Parma Rosa Sauce (I'm a horrible Italian, what can I say?). That sauce transformed pasta into restaurant-style dinners. Adding a green vegetable made us feel like we were living it up. I once even tried to mimic a favorite beach side eatery's house pasta dish by adding artichoke hearts, black olives, mushrooms, and feta and totally thought I was getting my gourmet on.

Knorr's little packet of delicious always tasted great to me. This? SO much better. Even the Cap'n raved. I don't have a picture, but it was amazing on pasta. It was even better on chickpea flatbread and pure hors d'vours heaven with herbed broccoli and cauliflower I threw together before friends came over. I think we have a winner. 

Vegan Parma Rosa
3-4 pasta servings
6-8 side dish servings

3/4 c. raw cashews
(soaked overnight & drained if you don't have a high speed blender and want it super smooth)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano or majoram
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 1/2 T arrowroot
2 T olive oil (I use a very mild variety, not EVOO)
2 T light miso
2 T lemon juice
3/4 - 1 cup sun dried tomatoes**

1. Finely ground cashews in food processor.
2. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and pulse to combine.
3. Mix almond milk, oil, and arrowroot, and bring to simmer on high heat. Decrease heat to med lo and cover, stirring occasionally, until cornstarch is dissolved (about 7 minutes).
4. Running food processor, add heated mix to contents and blend.  Add miso, lemon juice, and tomatoes. Blend for 2 minutes or until sauce has reached desired consistency. Should be on the thicker side but still run off a spoon just fine. 
5. Use as sauce for pasta or for drizzling over veggies or for topping pizzas or flatbreads.

*A big fan of Socca (I'll have a post about my favorite use for that, too!), I have had fun tinkering with chickpea flatbread. When I make it next I'll be sure to post about my flatbread journey. Not all recipes have worked in my favor.  :)

**I always have the oil-packed variety on hand and blot well with paper towel, but placing the dry dried version in hot water until they plump up, draining, then using will work just as well. Adjust oil in recipe to get desired consistency. 

4 comments: said...

This looks delicious, I'm a fan of all vegan cheesy sauces!

x said...

Yum! Love the look of this sauce! And I need to try making socca, stat!

Anonymous said...

That looks so good!

Anonymous said...

This looks great!