I’ve never been much of a pasta eater.
In fact, when my son asked me to make him pasta and tomato sauce last week for dinner I did everything I could to talk him out of it. As I sat and thought about how I could make it creative, what I could add that was vegetable and protein-like I realized how much I’ve been craving something like a giant bowl of starch. The issue with eating gluten-free and often paleo-like is you get cravings. Things are unbalanced. And suddenly you find yourself wanting…NEEDING…a giant bowl of (brown rice) pasta.
So I found this recipe in a Loony Spoons Cookbook and adapted it. I’m not into making plain-jane tomato sauce with canned tomatoes. It’s not my thing. But OVEN-ROASTED tomato sauce I can do. It turned out SO yummy. I just know it’s about to be a staple in this house. And you can adapt to YOUR family’s needs or use up what happens to be in the garden. Good luck!!
Best Smokey Tomato Pasta Sauce Ever
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds fresh tomatoes (roma’s work best, or whatever you’re using up in the garden – I used both)
- 4 – 6 slices HAPPY PIG bacon, diced (omit only if you have a dash of liquid smoke on hand)
- 2 medium red onions, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 bag brown rice penne, or pasta of choice
- 1/2 cup (or more) leftover pumpkin, squash or sweet potato puree (I use pumpkin)
- 8 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, diced
- 1 clove garlic more, minced
- 1 large handful baby spinach
- 1/2 small can tomato paste – or about 2 – 3 Tbsp
- 1 tsp grey sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- pinch chili flakes (more if you’re not feeding small children)
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, slivered
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Chop tomatoes in half or quarters. Place on baking sheet with bacon, onion and garlic. Roast about 35 minutes, adding oregano and balsamic halfway through. Meanwhile, cook your brown rice pasta (or whatever type you want) in boiling, salted water.
Remove tomato skins if you’re patient. (I leave ’em.) Throw roasted items in a blender and puree until smooth. Add pureed pumpkin and blend again. You could season a bit then even stop here if you want.
But don’t stop. Saute mushrooms and garlic in a bit of olive oil and some pasta cooking water. When almost cooked add spinach, cover pan until wilted then add blender contents. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper and chili flakes, as well. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, until all flavours are melded.
Pour sauce over cooked pasta, and top with lots of fresh basil and parmesan. This would also be wicked-good with some blue cheese or a few chunks of sausage.
I’m heading over for seconds!!!