Oh, Italian food… Making me drool since I discovered spaghetti. Someday, I’m going to try making my own pasta from scratch, but that is all kinds of barrels of work, so I’ll settle for the store-bought kind for now. Tomato cream sauce is a special thing. You can make it a few different ways, and I looked at three recipes to come up with this one. It did turn out a little spicy, but I like it like that.
This recipe will make about 6 servings.
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (try to get the organic ones since tomatoes are on the Dirty Dozen)
- 1 cup of cream (try to get organic for this too, since dairy cows are otherwise fed all sorts of weird stuff)
- 1 cup of vegetable stock
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium-large onion, diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4-1/2 tsp sugar (adjust this amount to taste)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- crushed red pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
- ~1/2 cup (+ slightly more for topping) of grated Parmesan (Try to get it in a proper block and grate it yourself. The pre-grated variety at the store is more cellulose than cheese.)
- ~1 lb pasta
- 3 large Portabella mushroom caps, sliced
- Heat the butter in a medium-large pot. When it’s hot enough to sizzle, add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook for about a minute or two.
- Stir in the oregano, dried basil, paprika, crushed red pepper, and black pepper with the vegetables. Let it cook for another minute.
- Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add a dash of sugar and some salt, to taste.
- Let the mixture simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Take the tomato sauce off of the stove. Stir in the heavy cream, most of the fresh basil, and cheese.
- Cook your pasta. Once it is al dente, drain (never rinse) the pasta and set it in the sauce. Reserve about 2 tbsp of the starchy water, and combine it with the pasta sauce. Toss well.
- Sprinkle some remaining cheese and fresh basil on each serving of pasta.