I announce myself as a Meatless Monday geek. I get a little over-excited about sharing new (and older) recipes that I think tick all of the boxes for both vegetarian and non-vegetarians alike. Our own beautiful home and family is a mix of both these eating preferences, and so it is always a fist pump moment when you know that a dish is a winner for all. As an added bonus, this dish is very easily made as vegan-friendly.
This new sauce is my new go-to. It is so tasty. So full of goodness and so gloriously versatile.
This past weekend, Grace proclaimed that red capsicum was her second favourite ingredient. Aside from being somewhat perplexed that your sixteen year old holds capsicum in such high sted, I did have a momentary fist pump. I also did have to ask what was number one. She was appalled……’ dumplings Mum’. Shocked that I even asked – “I hear you, Sista”! Dumplings always reign.
So, before capsicum has time to be outranked in our home or before I crush their love with capsicum overkill, I have had great fun creating this wonderful sauce. Over the next three meatless Mondays, I will present it in three different ways. Make more of this sauce when you make you batch, knowing all the while, that you too can be re-creating / re-purposing it along with us over the next three Monday posts & I will pop these below for you each week.
Pasta in creamy masala sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and very finely chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
A small pinch of chilli flakes
1 carrot, diced
1 red capsicum, de-seeded and diced
¼ cup of water
1 tin of diced tomatoes
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
20 ml honey (use maple syrup for a vegan-friendly version)
400 ml of coconut milk
400 g small tube pasta such as macaroni or penne
Freshly cracked black pepper
Coriander leaves, chopped
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
Heat a heavy-based pan or saucepan over low-medium heat. Gently warm the oil and then add the onion. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until translucent and aromatic. Add the grated ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly. Add the ground spices and stir, over heat for 30 seconds before adding the carrots and capsicum. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add a ¼ of a cup of water to lift everything off the base of the pan. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes before adding the coconut milk. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and tender.
Whilst your sauce is cooking, add your pasta of choice to the boiling salted water and cook according to packet directions. Stir from time to time. Drain, once the pasta is al dente (reserving some of the cooking water) and set aside.
Add the honey to the sauce as well and loosen with a little of the pasta water, if it is needed. Season to taste with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper. Blitz the sauce in a food processor or blender once it has cooled a little and toss the pasta through the creamy masala sauce. Serve with a squeeze of lime, if desired as well as some finely chopped coriander.
Week 2 – A healthier vegetarian pizza. Repurpose this delicious sauce by spreading onto a pizza base. Top with your choice of vegetarian toppings and bake. Here we have a little mozarella, roasted capsicums, sundried tomatoes, olives, rocket and thinly sliced red onion. Lovely topped with fetta also or dollop spoonfulls of thickened yoghurt.
Week 3- This versatile sauce strikes again! All in the name of versatility and in favour of tasty vegetarian dinners (that avoid food waste), here we again givie this tasty little number a new look. As the masala sauce simmered away, I added cauliflower and broccolini (you, can of course, add your own favourite veg of choice). Enjoyed here with rice, yoghurt, spinach leaves and toasted almonds (cashews would be lovely also).