A versatile, simple yet deliciously creamy marinara sauce, which you can whip up straight in your kitchen anytime to satisfy those Italian food cravings, which I know I get from time-to-time. Plus it’s vegetarian. Versatile because you can serve it with any shape,size and form of pasta, serve it as a dipping sauce, layer it on pizza or flatbread, whatever floats your boat. And for avid meat lovers, throw in any seafood, chicken, sausage, bacon yup, I did mention the word ‘versatile’! The creaminess comes from adding cream cheese, which sufficed, so I didn’t feel the need to add Parmesan or Romano. A dash of white wine, Chardonnay in this case, which I was taking sips of in the kitchen while cooking:-). It does impart that subtle fruitiness to the sauce. And reserve that wine glass for dinner, because it pairs perfectly well with this dish!
3 cups crushed unsalted tomatoes(canned)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small sprig of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. red chile powder or red chilli flakes. Add more if you like it spicy, covert it into an arrabbiata sauce!
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup white wine
1 heaped tablespoon cream cheese
Extra virgin olive oil- 1tbsp.
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste and lots of freshly ground black pepper
Spaghetti- 8 oz. or 1/2 lb.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan or Dutch oven. Add the bay leaf, thyme sprig, oregano.Add in the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes, add a little salt. When the veggies are slightly soft and translucent, add garlic. Sauté for a minute. Add paprika, red chile powder or flakes. Sauté for another minute. Add all the tomatoes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes (If it gets a little thick, add a little water). Remove lid. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems. Add the wine and simmer for a further 5 mins. Add the cream cheese and stir well. Before serving, add fresh parsley.
Boil the spaghetti in salted boiling water, till it still has a bite to it or al dente, to be precise. Drain well and immediately addit to the sauce. Stir and add freshly ground black pepper. For cheese lovers, you have the liberty of grating Parmesan, Asiago
or Romano on top as a final touch!
To compliment this delicious pasta, an easy to whip up mixed greens salad with a pomegranate-grapefruit vinaigrette. Coming up in my next blog….