Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I saw it on TV: Homemade tomato sauce

Do you watch cooking shows filled with foods you wouldn’t eat? I do. I love Top Chef and have been watching the new Cooking channel from time to time. I’m still waiting to see a vegetarian cooking show on mainstream television. For now, though, blogs are treating me just fine.

I watched a show called Ask Aida the other day and she made a pasta sauce with eggplant and basil. She sautéed cubed eggplant and made a creamy tomato sauce with canned tomatoes and fresh basil, then tossed in rigatoni and mozzarella. My recipe turned out much different than hers, but it was tasty nonetheless. I’m not going to say it was better, but I left out everything I didn’t want in her recipe and added everything I did want in mine.

022 Steamy pasta with mushrooms, eggplant, and homemade tomato basil sauce

I started the same way she did, by cubing an eggplant and cooking it in a skillet with a little olive oil. I did the same thing with some quartered mushrooms. I set these aside until the end. Then I combined the ingredients for the tomato sauce:

  • A few cloves of fresh garlic
  • Small diced onion (both a small onion and a small dice)
  • Can of crushed tomatoes, or whole plum tomatoes crushed by hand
  • Fresh basil, cut into ribbons (reserve some for garnish and to enjoy fresh)
  • Salt, pepper, and dried oregano

I simmered the sauce for a while. A while – as specific of a measurement as my ingredient list.

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite meals include a pause between the cooking and the eating. I added some almond milk (because the recipe I followed used cream) and threw back in my veggies to warm them through. Meanwhile, I cooked my pasta. I enjoyed this with some brown rice fusilli from Trader Joe’s, a side salad, and a glass of wine.

Somehow this felt more wholesome and not too much more difficult than using jarred pasta sauce. I think this one is a keeper.


  1. Looks like a delicious way to end the day. I ADORE the smell of fresh basil...and now I'm thinking it's been entirely too long since I had some.

  2. if it tastes as good as it looks i'd say keeper! i love anything eggplant! its funny how you talk about a pause between cooking and eating because i feel the same way but ive just never been able to put it into words!

  3. Great job with pasta! I bet the tomato sause was good with the basil. I love basil. My basil plant is taking forever to grow. I am following your blog now. Check mine out and follow if you like :)

  4. My basil is growing like crazy, but I started it in April. I'm always looking for new ways to use it.

    Jessica - yes, the pause makes eating so much more pleasurable!

  5. I totally watch cooking shows with food I don't eat... Barefoot Contessa is a guilty pleasure! Her desserts always make me melt, and I'm about to embark on a mission to do some veganizing to them!