Laid-back Creamy Tomato Sauce (v + gf)

I think we could all do with a little more "laid-back" in our lives.  Maybe we should chill out and eat some pasta.  Like, no-stress, no-guilt pasta.  Comfort food that doesn't cause discomfort.

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This week has been a rather anti-laid-back week, my schedule comprised of me flying haphazardly from one thing to the next.  As I was about to leave for my second of three commutes for today, being the traveling cycle-instructor that I am, I began to think about how nice it would be if I could have a few of those half-hour drives back.  I thought about what you can do with half an hour – it doesn’t really seem like a lot of time, but it actually sort of is.

That’s like a walk outside with the dog, catching up with a best friend, or talking to a significant other or child about their day.  Or, you know what?  Half an hour can get you a really crucial workout in, too!  If I need to, I can usually clean my whole kitchen in half an hour, and maybe even prep dinner, too; I can bake a birthday cake while dancing to upbeat Pandora jams; or I can read and reply to all my emails while painting my toenails (probably).

This sauce recipe, though.  This almost made up for some of that lost time.  And I would happily lose time to make this recipe, because it turned out to be one of the most dreamy-creamy red sauces I’ve ever made (tasted).

This super-delightful-healthful sauce literally takes 15 minutes to make, and the pasta can cook at the same time!  I even put some frozen veggies in the microwave while the sauce was going, and dinner was done in no time.  The secret is in my latest favorite summer food: avocado.  Don’t worry, your sauce won’t come out green!  It looks more like a thick vodka sauce, and no one will have any thoughts of guacamole, I promise.  ;)

Laidback Creamy Tomato Sauce (v + gf)

1 tsp. olive oil

2 cans undrained, diced tomatoes (low-sodium)

3 – 4 T. tomato paste, depending on how tangy you like your sauce

2 cloves garlic, peeled

½ small yellow onion, chopped

1 ripe avocado, peeled + pitted

1 sprig fresh rosemary 

2 T. red OR dry white wine (red or white wine vinegar works well, too)

Salt, freshly ground pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano

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Preheat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Blend all ingredients in a blender, except for seasonings, until they reach a creamy consistency.  Pour the sauce into the pan with the olive oil, add seasonings to taste, and bring to a simmer.  Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, cooking the sauce about 5-10 minutes to heat through. 

Meanwhile, cook your favorite pasta (I chose penne for its ability to hold sauce!) in salted water until al dente.  When the pasta is ready (ie. you know because you’ve tasted it,) scoop it directly from the pasta water with a slotted spoon and transfer to hot pasta sauce.  If the sauce seems too thick, add pasta water 1 T. at a time until it reaches the right consistency.  For a lower-carb option, try cooking a spaghetti squash, like this!

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