actually, no, they're not, they just make me itch. But this site is hilarious.
On Saturday night I made pasta for me and my mom.
Though this may look like your average italian meal, the marinara sauce is tomato-free. It is delicious and although it takes a bit of time, it's super-easy. Don't be intimidated by the ingredients list - it's mostly spices.
Tomato-Free Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 1 1/2 lbs carrots (about 7 really big carrots), sliced
1 beet, chopped
3-4 cups water
1 Bay Leaf
2 Tbsp parsley
1-2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp each marjoram, thyme, rosemary (or a tsp of Italian Seasoning)
1/2 cup vinegar (a milder type like red wine or brown rice vinegar works best)
dash of sweetener, if desired
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Then add the carrots and the beet. Saute for another minute or two, then add the water and spices. Cook over high eat until it boils, then bring heat down to medium and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beet and carrots are soft.
Note: The smaller you chop the carrots and beet, the shorter this will cook - if they're really small, boiling for 15 minutes will do, if they're chunkier, you might want to allow up to half an hour for the veggies to be tender.
Once the veggies are soft, remove from heat, and allow 15-20 minutes for it to cool. Pour it all into a blender or food processor (in half-batches, if your blender is small) and puree until it's sauce-y. Return to pan, stir in vinegar. Taste to see if you want a dash of sweetener, more of a certain spice, or salt and pepper (you WILL want the latter two). Reheat before serving, add more water to thin if necessary. Can be used anywhere you'd use normal marinara sauce: pasta, pizza, lasagna, or as a dipping sauce.
(makes enough sauce for 6 servings)
Because this sauce takes a while to make, I made it a couple weeks ago when I had time and froze it. It needed a bit of re-spicing and some more vinegar after it thawed, and since it's a very simple sauce, I add chopped zucchini and mushrooms when I reheated it. More garlic or fresh spices or red wine would jazz it up a bit, too. The sauce is a little different from tomato sauce, but an unsuspecting eater probably wouldn't notice until s/he realized it was staining the pasta pink!
Oh and by way of advice, do not make or eat this dish while wearing pale clothing. Then again, chances are you're a neater eater than me.
Other highlights of having Mom come: we wandered around Harvard Square, where we admired (and purchased) a few yummy-smelling lotions and soaps from Lush. Lush's items are all handmande and their website and catalogs (which are in all the stores) clearly label which products are vegan.
We also spent a lot of time in bookstores (there is a bookstore ENTIRELY DEVOTED TO POETRY there!) and the stationers' before heading over to Veggie Planet for brunch! I had waffles for the first time in YEARS and they were incredible. On the way home from Cambridge we went to the Super 88 Market down the road from me and bought many noodles, soy products and hot sauces, which I'm sure I'll feature here sometime.
a long entry. A good weekend.