My first recipe post!
Fun fact: I used to want to be a chef. More specifically, I wanted to be a pastry chef, but I took the full course of cooking courses offered by my high school and even did a one-year program with the local trade school during my senior year to get various certifications and whatnot. It was fun. Decided it wasn’t for me once I got to college and realized I’d like to do something with writing — ended up doing journalism.
Anyway, I’ve always loved to cook and now that Joe and I are dealing with my vegetarianism and his lactose-intolerance we’ve gotten creative with our cooking. Here’s one of our favorite dishes that I make pretty frequently that I used to make with cream.
Vegetarian, non-dairy “creamy” roasted tomato pasta (serves two, with a little left over)
Olive oil (extra virgin, you know the kind)
Small or medium Shallot (the BEST thing. You could also use onion)
2 tsp(ish) Garlic
Gemelli pasta (penne works well for this recipe too, use your favorite)
Cherry tomatoes (I buy the 10.5 oz little round Cherub packs, but between 11-16 oz works)
4 Tbsp flour (or 1 to 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little almond milk if you’re gf)
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened, unflavored)
1/3 cup vegetable broth (eyeball it, and you might add more as needed)
Salt, pepper, thyme
Preheat oven to 325 F
Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Arrange tomatoes cut-side up on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast tomatoes until shriveled a little, but not burnt on the bottoms. Usually about 25-35 minutes, sometimes longer — just keep an eye on them while you make the rest of the sauce.
Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta and cook according to package directions (I usually undercook by a minute). Remember to reserve a half cup of the pasta water before draining.
In the mean time, in a large pot (or deep skillet), throw in 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil and place over medium-low heat. Add 2 tsp minced garlic and a small/medium minced shallot. Stir it up as it cooks and gets all nice and fragrant (take a moment to enjoy that blissful scent!). Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and continue stirring frequently for about 4 minutes (make sure it doesn’t burn, keep that heat low).
Stir in 3-4 Tbsp flour (or 1-1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch mixed separately with a little almond milk) and slowly whisk it in with the oily shallots and garlic. Once it’s all coated and happy, slowly whisk in 1 cup almond milk. Keep it moving to avoid clumps. Whisk in 1/3 cup of vegetable broth. Add 1/4 tsp of thyme, a pinch or two of salt and some more black pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly, and cook for 4-5 minutes to thicken.
Note: At this point, if you notice that it’s still looking a little thin, you can add a little more thickener. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add a tsp or two of corn starch to a little less than 1/4 cup almond milk and combine, then add to the pot and cook in for another minute or two. However, it will continue to thicken after adding the tomatoes.
Scrape in the roasted tomatoes and their juices, stir it all up and then turn down the heat to simmer for a few more minutes. Stir frequently and let the tomatoes break down as they cook into the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness (use reserved pasta water to thin sauce if needed). Taste and season additionally if needed.
Top your pasta with your sauce. Can also top with vegan parm and/or basil if desired.
This recipe is a modified combination of this recipe: http://www.instyle.com/news/creamy-gemelli-pasta-cherry-tomatoes-recipe and this recipe: http://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-vegan-garlic-pasta-with-roasted-tomatoes/#_a5y_p=1568083