Tuesday, 3 February 2015

creamy and zingy sundried tomato pasta

creamy and zingy sundried tomato pasta 

Pasta is a very important part of my life, despite what the name of this blog might lead you to believe. Actually, all carbs hold a special place in my heart, their comforting, warming carbohydratey goodness filling up my tummy makes me very happy. And slightly bloated, but that's fine!

I recently moved to Glasgow and decided that every new kitchen deserves new cookbooks. This recipe is therefore based on a recipe from the very smily and clever Chloe Coscarelli, whose vegan italian cookbook  I recently bought after endangering my laptop because I was drooling so much looking at her recipes online. 

Serves 2

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup/40g plain flour 
800ml of dairy-free milk, your choice 
1/2 jar of sundried tomatoes in oil 
a hefty squirt of tomato puree 
1/4 cup/30g of nutritional yeast 
a sprinkling of dried basil 
1 big or 2 small garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste 

pasta, whatever shape you like 

1. Get the pasta on - bring the water to a boil once the pasta is in, then turn it down a bit and let it simmer. 

2. Chop up the sundried tomatoes into little-ish bits. I went for little strips. Chop up the garlic really fine too. It's better to do this now, rather than when they're ready to be put into the sauce and you're freaking out and hurrying. We can all learn from my mistake!

3. Add the oil to a medium size pan, and make sure it's one that doesn't stick loads. Also make sure you have a good wooden spoon handy, one that can scrape around corners well. Put a low heat on, and add the flour to the oil in the pan. Make sure to mix and mix until it forms a squidgy dough. Hey. that's a roux! You're officially a french cordon bleu chef now, go you.

4. Continue to mix the roux on the LOW heat (if it's high, you'll have issues), until the dough feels like it's getting dry, around the 3 minute point. Now take it off the heat. 

5. Very slowly, introduce your milk bit by bit. And to begin with, this will probably be just a splash, then mix it in. Do that again, and make sure every time, you're mixing it in completely. Any lumps - stop adding milk and mix until your arm falls off, and hopefully the lumps will go. Continue this until you have a milky, thin sauce. 

6. Pop the pan back on a low/medium heat, and stir it fairly frequently. As the sauce thickens, it's got a tendency to try and stick to the bottom, so make sure your stirring has a nice scrapy action that gets the base of the pan and the edges. 

7. As the sauce is thickening, chuck in the nutritional yeast, basil, salt, pepper and the tomato paste, garlic and the sundried tomatoes. See, now it's easy! if you want to be fancy and pop some sundried tomatoes on the top when it's done, hold some back. 

8. Keep stirring until you can feel with the spoon that the sauce has thickened, and it has gone a nice orangey colour. 

9. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and pour over the sauce. Add the extra sundried tomatoes if you want to be snazzy, and some fresh basil if you happen to have it. I bought a little basil plant for my new flat so I did :)

Italian food is definitely my favourite culinary inspiration, although I am a big fan of japanese and thai at the moment! What's yours?

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