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Old 05-30-2011, 02:31 PM   #1
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What are some healthy & light pasta sauces?

As far as pasta sauce goes, I really only know of 2; tomato sauce and alfredo sauce. I'm bored with tomato sauce and lost interest in alfredo sauce because it's too fattening and the flavor got overwhelming to me. So i'm trying to find some kind of sauce for pasta that is light and healthy. My favorite things to put on pasta are garlic, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese. Sometimes I put basil in there, or onions. Is there a sauce that goes well with these ingredients that I could use? Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-30-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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I don't know the answer, but I'm sure interested. Great question!
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
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All the ingredients you mention above go well with aglio e olio. You can also add some rehydrated dried mushrooms.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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With those ingredients, all you need is a good quality EVOO.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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>>tomato sauce

ah, but not all tomato sauce is "equal" !

the season is coming - fresh real tomatoes - so here's my madness:

big heavy pot, quarter (or more) the tomatoes - remove any greenish/whitish stem areas. fill the pot to the brim, cook them down slowly with diced green pepper and onion, smidgen of salt & fresh ground black pepper. this takes 3-4 hours.

I leave the skins on - you can blanch&peel if you wish.

the madness? there's no sugar, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, etc. this sauce tastes fresh out of the garden comma which it actually is....

I garden, all my "extra" tomatoes get turned into sauce. I even buy 'seconds' or 'culls' from the local produce stands. at $2-3 per half bushel, it's a bargain. when drowning in fresh vine ripe tomatoes, I simply let it cool, put into quart freezer bags, freeze and stash it for the off season. even resurrected from frozen it beats commercial sauces to death with a wooden spoon.

the minimal seasoning approach is so when you want it for a specific recipe, you can tweak the flavor - all of the usual and customary suspects work - garlic, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, etc.

obviously, it produces a somewhat 'chunky' sauce - if you need/want a smooth sauce, couple passed with a stick blender makes that happen - even coming back from frozen.

it is not an attempt as a "fake" recipe for the famous name brands. it is entirely different and fresher tasting. we don't eat a lot of pizza, but it's all 'home made' and it doesn't get made unless we have homemade sauce.

the other "must have" dishes in our house are shrimp in tomato sauce over rice.

it sounds like a bit of work, it is, need freezer for the surplus, but compared to stuff out of a jar, it's in a class of its own. I try to go into the off season with 5-8 gallons in the freezer. oh, one tip - put the quart bags flat on a cookie sheet and let them freeze "flat" - then they stack nicely...
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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After sauteeing the garlic and red pepper flakes in extra virgin olive oil, add low sodium chicken broth and dry white wine, and simmer until desired consistency. The longer you simmer, the more concentrated the flavor. Toss in the pasta. Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Some additions to the saute: Mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, black olives, roasted red peppers, shallots, herbs, spices, etc., etc.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
With those ingredients, all you need is a good quality EVOO.
I do use EVOO, I just didn't mention it because I thought it was a given! I've never sauted my garlic in it though, I just put it all in there together after my pasta is done. Next time I will saute it, that's probably the right way to do it anyway, I just like to experiment without following rules too much!
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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DcSaute...I would like to make my own tomato sauce eventually, I did plant tomatoes last year but they never grew (I'm a beginner!), this year maybe I'll have better luck. I will buy some vine ripened tomatoes fresh sometime and try it. I always prefer things fresh anyway, the stuff in a jar always leaves me unsatisfied! Thanks for the reply!!
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar View Post
After sauteeing the garlic and red pepper flakes in extra virgin olive oil, add low sodium chicken broth and dry white wine, and simmer until desired consistency. The longer you simmer, the more concentrated the flavor. Toss in the pasta. Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Some additions to the saute: Mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, black olives, roasted red peppers, shallots, herbs, spices, etc., etc.
Thanks for the suggestions! This is making my mouth water already! I don't have any dry white wine but will pick some up soon! I don't know why I never thought to saute anything, I just threw it all together once the pasta was done, raw. Thanks again, i'm excited to try this next time!
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstraeaLunaAvani View Post
Thanks for the suggestions! This is making my mouth water already! I don't have any dry white wine but will pick some up soon! I don't know why I never thought to saute anything, I just threw it all together once the pasta was done, raw. Thanks again, i'm excited to try this next time!
You're very welcome!

There's nothing wrong with adding raw ingredients, and you can mix and match with the sauteed stuff. For example, you can saute most of the garlic, but leave a small amount raw if you'd like, and add them together - you'll have 2 distinct tastes of garlic, with the raw being more intense. Just be careful when you saute the garlic, because it can burn very easily. The advantage to sauteeing the vegetables in garlic-infused oil is they will take on the delicious flavor of the garlic, plus their own juices will be added to the sauce.

Tomatoes will break down faster than some of the other ingredients, so you can cook them less or more, depending on the consistency you want.

The chicken broth/white wine is a good base for a sauce, and you can use it in lots of different types of dishes. Make sure you use white wine, not cooking wine!

Have fun experimenting!
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