Saturday, September 27, 2014

VeganMoFo Day 27 - Puttanesca Sauce


When I make our Saturday pasta meals, I usually just toss on a package of Tinkyada pasta and open a jar of Walnut Acres sauce. 

It's only for VeganMoFo that I've been experimenting with more elaborate home made spaghetti sauces. I had jarred puttanesca sauce once, in my pre-McDougall days, and it was no better or worse than plain sauce with my own veggies tossed in with the cooked pasta. This one is from the September 2009 McDougall newsletter.

Puttanesca Sauce

This flavorful sauce should be cooked for at least an hour before serving.  The longer it simmers the thicker it will get.  Serve over polenta, pasta or gnocchi.


Preparation Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  6-8

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable broth
3  14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1  14.5 ounce can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1  14.5 ounce can hearts of palm, drained, halved, and sliced
½ cup quartered and pitted kalamata olives
½ cup quartered and pitted green olives
2 tablespoons small capers, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Place the garlic and vegetable broth in a large pot.  Cook and stir for about 1 minute until garlic softens slightly.  Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, and simmer for at least another 30 minutes (longer is better).  Stir in the fresh parsley before serving.


My changes:
I couldn't find fire roasted crushed tomatoes, or any crushed tomatoes in smaller cans, so used a 28 ounce can of plain low-sodium crushed and a 15 ounce can of regular fire-roasted petite diced, as well as a can of no-salt added petite diced tomatoes. I debated about putting a capful of liquid smoke into the pot, as Chef AJ had suggested in some video to get the fire-roasted flavor, but decided against it. In the end, it didn't need it.

Hearts of Palm is an ingredient I've never had before. I found this can way up on the top shelf in the canned vegetable aisle mixed in with the cans of artichokes. Although the can says it's pre-cut, those things were in pretty huge chunks, so I cut them up into pieces about the size of the petite diced tomatoes. Because they weren't low sodium I also rinsed them a few times, too.



It looks simply amazing! The photo was snapped after adding the veggies, before the second half hour simmer. When I served it over whole wheat pasta an hour later, the olives and capers kept their size and shape but the hearts of palm kind of disappeared into the sauce. Maybe if I left them in larger pieces that wouldn't have happened. I have no idea.

This was such a full bodied sauce that it didn't even need the pasta to make it into a whole meal! If Ann Esselstyn had written the recipe she probably would suggest serving it over a bed of kale and been done with it, that's how rich this sauce is.

While it does take at least an hour to cook, it only takes a few minutes to actually put together. If I keep making sauces like these, my husband will never let me return to jarred pasta sauce ever again! 

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