Meatless Vegetarian Pasta Sauce (Sugo Finto)

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Sugo Finto - "Fake Sauce" - uses celery, carrots and onion in a red wine tomato sauce to produce a rich, hearty flavor for pasta without meat. I learned this recipe at a Tuscan cooking class at Fattoria Corsignano near Siena, Italy. You won't miss the meat, I promise!

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Pasta Sauce, Meatless (Sugo Finto)
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Finely dice carrots, celery and onions.
  2. Sauté in olive oil until the onions are translucent and everything is well cooked and tender. Add a clove of diced garlic here if you like.
  3. Add red wine and stir in salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes and cook, uncovered, for 30-45 more minutes to allow the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Serve warm, over al dente pasta, and sprinkle with fresh-grated Parmesan.
Recipe Notes

Fresh basil leaves are a good garnish. Crusty bread and red wine are good partners!

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Salsa Verde Recipe, Mexican Green Salsa Made with Tomatillos

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Fresh Mexican salsa verde is green salsa made with tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Make it hot or mild. Either way, it's tangy and goes good on chips, in tacos, over tamales or as a sauce for any meat. It's suitable for vegans and vegetarians, too.

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Salsa Verde, Mexican Green Salsa with Tomatillos Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel, rinse and dry the tomatillos.
  2. Preheat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Dry-roast the tomatillos, peppers, unpeeled garlic cloves and onion pieces in the hot skillet, turning every 2 minutes with tongs to char on most of the surfaces. Do not allow to burn.
  4. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the stem from the peppers and slice in half. If desired, remove seeds and pith. Removing the seeds and pith reduces the spiciness and heat of the salsa verde. Leave the seeds and pith intact for a very hot salsa.
  6. Place the tomatillos, peppers and onions into the bowl of a food processor. Peel garlic and add to other ingredients. Pulse 2 to 4 times to chop.
  7. Add salt and cilantro to the food processor bowl.
  8. Pulse quickly 4 to 6 more times until a coarse puree forms.
  9. Transfer the salsa to a serving dish and serve immediately while still warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Recipe Notes

When buying, choose very firm tomatillos with the papery husk intact. They can range in size from very small, like cherry tomatoes, to extremely large, like beefsteak tomatoes. I tend toward the medium ones, but all of them will give you good results.

When you peel the satisfyingly crinkly paper covering off the tomatillos, your fingers and the tomatillos inside will be sticky, kind of like a tree-sap stickiness. But it rinses right off with water. Peel back the cover and yank the stem; the whole thing comes off at once. Then make this salsa. You won't regret it!

For raw vegan diets, skip the dry-roasting process. Salsa verde is good without the char as well.

Use any kind of chili pepper. Jalapenos are milder than serranos, but you can use poblanos, too.

Salsa verde will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days if sealed tightly.

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Sriracha Aoli Dip Sauce Recipe

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A quick, spicy sriracha dip to whip up for crispy roasted brussels sprouts, wings, fries, onion straws or other snacks and appetizers.

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Sriracha Aoli Dip Sauce Recipe
A spicy, creamy hot-yet-cool quick dip for topping roasted brussels sprouts, fries, onion straws and other appetizers and side dishes.
Course Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine American, Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine American, Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine mayo and sriracha. Stir til creamy and well mixed. Serve over fries, brussels sprouts, onion straws, wings or anything you want to add a creamy zing to.
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