48th ANNIVERSARY SAUCE For Sharon and Steve
A sauce that has defined us forever. We must be Italian! Add the portobella mushroom, animal-free chicken and Meyer’s lemon and it’s an extra special treat. Just what we like and deserve! Fresh herbs and San Marzano tomatoes – Wow! Cauliflower and fresh beefsteak tomatoes too? You betcha!
2 T. margarine
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. diced onion, 1/2 inch squares – I used red and white
1 lg. Portabella mushroom cap, washed, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 t. salt
2 T. mashed garlic, or sev. whole cloves finely chopped
28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
28 oz. can San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes in puree – pour tomatoes and puree into bowl and cut with scissors, or knife and fork into bite size pieces
3/4 oz. fresh oregano still on it’s stems, washed
1/3 oz. fresh basil leaves, washed and coarsely cut
12 oz. Delight Soy Vegan Chicken Nuggets (I used Mandarin flavored), cut into cubes (each nugget into about 4 pieces)
12 oz. pkg. froz. cauliflower buds – empty bag into large bowl and cover with water; let set till thawed then drain in wire mesh strainer over bowl and set aside
2 fresh Meyer’s lemons – roll on counter firmly under palm to loosen membranes, zest both lemons into bowl, then cut in half and squeeze well to remove all liquid; strain out seeds and add to zest, set aside.
2 T. light brown sugar
2 t. liquid smoke
1/2 t. ground allspice
sprinkling of red cayenne pepper
1-2 t. additional salt or to taste
fresh grind black pepper to taste
2 ripe, fresh beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into 3/4 inch cubes – the riper the better
dried pasta of choice – this day we used RAO’S Dried Homemade Linguine, cooked according to package instructions, drained
In large cooking pot, over medium heat, melt margarine with oil.
Add onion, stir to coat, then saute till partially wilted.
Add mushroom cubes, salt, then stir to coat and saute till tender, lowering heat if necessary to prevent charring – it won’t take long.
Add mashed garlic, stir to disperse and cook about 2 minutes.
Add both cans of tomatoes plus liquid from both cans, fresh herbs and vegan chicken cubes. Stir well, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, empty drained, thawed cauliflower into food processor and pulse into uniform beads (not mush). Spoon into sauce pot and stir to evenly disperse.
Now add lemon zest plus lemon juice. Stir.
Add brown sugar, liquid smoke, allspice, red cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste. Be sure to salt sufficiently to bring all the flavors together. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add fresh tomatoes, stir and cook another 5 minutes. Turn heat off, cover and let set till ready to serve.
When ready to serve, prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
Reheat sauce, adjust for salt, remove sprigs of oregano.
Ladle sauce over pasta on individual plates and serve.