I had so many plans for my blog today that I had analysis paralysis. Then vegan.com posted a challenge on Facebook (well, for most if was probably a question, but I’m a competitive type of girl!) The question was ‘What’s your vegan specialty, the one meal you *really* know how to make?’ So I’m at my kitchen table jumping up and down with my hand in the air saying “pick me, pick me, I know the answer”!
The answer, as those who have been to my place for a raw vegan meal would know, is marinara pasta. Inspired by Juliano and his super sexy RAW: The Uncook Book, I took his genius and customized (bastardized?) this amazing dish – one, I do have to add, that impressed the finest of judges (no, not Gordon Ramsey, but close): Dave Miller, runner up in the 2010 series of Master Chef!
It is, without doubt, one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had – raw or cooked… and trust me, I’ve had some good pasta. I wouldn’t blame you for asking, ‘but how can it be good/pasta/tasty, it’s not even hot?’, as it took me a while to get my head around it too. Interestingly though, there are really two key concepts that make pasta so yummy and satisfying: the al dente texture of the pasta and the complex deliciousness of a marinara sauce, and this recipe captures both parts perfectly. Granted, you can’t go in expecting it to taste exactly like a cooked pasta, but you avoid the processed flour with useless high GI carbs and the heaving bloating due to slowed digestion, and gain all the benefits of vitamins c and a, folate, potassium, beta carotene, iron, antioxidants, and all the other intangible benefits of eating fresh raw vegetables…
So enough babble, on to the good stuff! However, I am going to preface this by saying it is a gourmet recipe. Like any gourmet recipe the list of ingredients is not underwhelming and a bit of prep time is required. So consider yourself warned, don’t go bitching about raw food being too difficult and writing it off – there are literally tons of easy raw pasta recipes out there but if you’re new to raw food or even just willing to try a new dish, I recommend you invest the time and not skimp on flavor – why eat boring food when you can have something truly delicious?!
I find this makes two dinner-size servings and a smaller serving for my lunch the next day…
Ingredients – pasta
Instructions – pasta
Ingredients – sauce
Instructions – sauce
If you’re confident in the kitchen you can, like with any marinara sauce, add other stuff or omit some of these things as you see fit or if you don’t have them on hand – I find this is a great guide though. Also, once it’s all blended, taste it and add more seasoning and blend until you’re happy with it.
To serve straight away: you can drain the mushrooms and onion and add to the pasta then mix with the sauce – letting this sit for a few minutes will soften the ‘pasta’ a little, or you can layer it up in individual bowls/plates. Garnish as desired.
To keep some for later: don’t mix – the pasta will go soggy. Store the pasta, mushrooms/onions and sauce separately and combine when required. Sometimes I make extra sauce to use as a dip – it tastes great with flax seed crackers.
Guide: raw vegan | whole food, plant based | gluten-free | nut-free | sweetener-free | soy-free