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Or: Egg and Tomato Sauce

The following is a very simple recipe for vegetarian pasta sauce (Vegetarian! Not vegan!). Whenever I tell someone who's never tried it before that this is what's for dinner, they look at me like I'm insane. Egg?! In pasta sauce?.

I admit, it sounds weird, but I guarantee everybody I've served it to has liked it so far. On with the cooking!

You will need (for two servings):

1 onion, diced
200 g mushrooms, sliced
2 eggs
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes, skinned and cubed
1 tub (125 ml) of creme fraiche
100 g grated cheese (I use Goudse, but Cheddar will probably work just as well)
fresh basil, torn into strips

Sautee the onion in olive oil. When the onion is soft, add the mushrooms and sautee them until they start getting soft, too. Then add the tomatoes (canned and fresh).

When the tomatoes start bubbling, break the eggs over the sauce and stir. The eggs should not be scrambled! If this happens stir harder so that the eggs are evenly divided through the sauce without getting lumpy.

Cook until all ingredients are done. Then add creme fraiche, cheese and basil, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Heat and serve with pasta. The sauce becomes rather thick, so spaghetti is probably not the best choice. Penne are great.

For variation, you can add all kinds of vegetables to the sauce (try bell pepper or zucchini/courgette).

Enjoy!

Balsamic Marinara Sauce

(Note: What in English is referred to as "marinara sauce" is referred to generally in italian as "sugo Napoli"; if you ask for pasta alla marinara, you'll get seafood pasta.)

This is a recipe I learned a few years ago while living in Germany. It's great with a glass of red wine and some good bread.

INGREDIENTS

2 - 3 large white onions
1 bottle Modena balsamic vinegar
Fresh leaf oregano
Fresh basil
1 bottle good red wine (optional)
Tomato purée / tomato paste
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Finely chop the onions and garlic together. A food processor often does a good job for this.

2. Pour some olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a saucepot or frying pan, together with a little oregano and basil, and bring it to a simmer.

3. Once the oil and vinegar are sizzling melodically, pour the chopped onions and garlic into the pot, adding some oil and vinegar to accomodate the amount of onions and garlic.

4. Once the onions and garlic have softened up considerably (NB: This may not take too long depending on how finely chopped they are!), begin pouring in the tomato paste or purée. If you use tomato paste, add water to soften up and liquefy the tomato paste. Add in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, and basil to taste.

5. Turn the burner down to LOW. Stir thoroughly, adding water, etc. as needed. The sauce should be ready to serve within approximately 10 min.

Another sauce recipe

This one's become somewhat of a tradition in my family. It's apparently an old Italian Jewish recipe. This one takes longer and tends to be more complicated. It's worth the wait.

INGREDIENTS

Diced tomatoes in tomato purée
Tomato paste
Celery
Onions
Garlic
Carrots
Extra virgin olive oil
Oregano
Basil
INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Chop up all the vegetables finely.

2. Pour some olive oil into a large saucepot, and bring it to a simmer.

3. Once it is simmering, pour everything but the garlic into the olive oil and allow it to simmer, stirring periodically, until it has softened up.

4. Once everything is soft, pour in the diced tomatoes in purée, stirring to ensure that it is well-distributed.

5. Crush the garlic (amount dictated by individual taste), and mix it into the pot.

6. Pour in the tomato paste along with enough water to allow it to assimilate.

7. Stir everything, keeping the burner on HIGH until the sauce begins to boil.

8. Once the sauce is boiling, turn the heat down to LOW, and allow it to simmer for approximately one hour.

9. Continue stirring, from the bottom, to make sure that the sauce doesn't burn, and to make sure everything is mixed and cooked evenly. Taste testing is encouraged at this stage.

10. Two options here:
(A) If you like your sauce thick and chunky, it's ready to serve now; or
(B) Pour the sauce through a food mill to strain out the bigger chunks.

Serving suggestions as above.

Other items in Élise's Culinodes

Arrabbiata --=-- Bruschetta --=-- Sugo Napoli al balsamico

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