Friday, 28 April 2017

Crowd pleaser, for meat eater, vegetarian, vegan...



Dont freak out, that really is a picture of tofu.

Stuffed pasta shells is the answer when people come to dinner.  Honest.  Yum

I roughly base it on {this recipe}.  To really intensify the garlic flavour I add 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic power, not granules it must be powder.  I get that from Lidl.  I also dont like the spinach too blitzed. I stir shredded spinach in instead.  Frozen is also good, just really squeeze the heck out of it.

I dont use a premade canned sauce.  I make my own using 6 large garlic cloves chopped, not minced, 2 cubes of tescos passata (its the only one with the consistency I like), olive oil and 6 basil leaves with stem, kept whole.  My friend whose parents are Italian showed me how to make this sauce.

In the bottom of a medium size saucepan cover the bottom of the pan really genorously with olive oil.   You want a good 3ml coat on the bottom if not more (it makes the sauce silky).  Both the pan and the oil must be room temperature.  DO NOT PREHEAT THE PAN.  Put the garlic in the pan and leave it for 5 mins.  I usually have a bit of a boogie to the radio, unload the dish washer what ever.  Make sure you have opened the passata cubes before you begin.  I like to use a silicon spatula to stir.  My friend says wood.  Her mum says never metal with tomatoes.  (I am sure someone out there will know why...).

Only now turn the heat on and lowish, my electric cooker stove top goes from 1-8, I use 3.5 for this.  You cant walk away, stand there and stir.  When the garlic starts to fizz be super attentive as it could stick.  This way you are getting really flavoured oil, not burning it before you have even blinked.  You are making sauce not a chinese stir fry, low and steady wins this race.  If it begins to fizz to quickly, remove from the heat.  You want it golden brown.  As soon as you see any golden, add all of the passatta, quick as you can.  Leave this to cook down.  I turn it down to 2, use your own judgement as it depends on pot size.  When you get the consistency you like, turn off the heat and push the basil stem into sauce.  Leave to go cold, remove the basil.  Use as you would a premade jar. 

 All of the ingredients are ones I have in my food storage.  I have used watercress before, it gave it a real zing.  If you would like the sauce to be arrabiatta, when are part cooking the garlic, add some sliced fresh chilli and a good pinch of dry, do not add the basil.  Throw your pasta into the sauce, for the meat eaters, this sauce version seems to go down a storm with chopped bacon as a topping. Top get toddlers to eat it, strain through a sieve.

8 comments:

DUTA said...

Sounds great! I like pasta, tofu, garlic, olive oil. I might give it a try.

DUTA said...

Sounds great! I like pasta, tofu, garlic, olive oil, wooden spatula. So, all I need is to invest in a little work and follow your recipe.Thanks for sharing.

Sol said...

Hi DUTA, we really like it. When people arrive that we arent expecting it is a good meal to make. I have used shelf stable tofu and it still comes out well. I hope you like it.

Jules said...

This looks sooo good. I love pasta. We're having a ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta for dinner one night this week. If I hadn't already planned to I would have had to cook something similar after seeing this! X 🐷

Kev Alviti said...

I've never had tofu and really should try it! Sounds good!

Sol said...

Hey Jules, it comes out the same as your ricotta stuffed pasta, but is vegan. I cant be dealing with cooking 2 or 3 different dishes when my friends come to London as they are hard core vegan, no leather shoes etc.

Hey Kev, it is a great store cupboard dinner if you use shelf stable tofu. You can buy it in the world food aisle in the supermarket. I think it normally has a 2 year expiry date. Its best with fresh firm tofu, but that would mean going to the shops. Hope you like it.

Toffeeapple said...

What on earth is a passata cube? I tried Google but failed to find anything resembling...

Sol said...

Hi Toffeeapple, I hope you are well. This is a passata cube, you know the tetra cubes box

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=275095074&sc_cmp=ppc*GHS+-+Grocery+-+New*PX+%7C+Shopping+GSC+%7C+All+Products+%2B+Tesco+Brand*PRODUCT+GROUP275095074*&gclid=CjwKEAjw9MrIBRCr2LPek5-h8U0SJAD3jfhty6qpu_zrTz80eDu85eybdtyz7qt8_mqNgEsg-4TtUxoCCHHw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds