Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One of My Own Recipes

Vegan Vodka Sauce

This sauce, creamy, rich and elegant, contains no dairy and no animal products.  Serve it with pasta of your choice.  I used whole wheat/sweet potato gnocchi.  A sprinkling of fresh parsley completes the dish, or parmesan cheese can be added by non-vegans.

24 oz. jar Marinara Sauce (my favorite is Barilla)
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
12 oz. block of silken tofu
¼ cup vodka
a generous grind of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
In a blender, combine all ingredients except nutmeg, salt and pepper.  I pour the vodka into the sauce jar, cap it and swirl it around to get all the sauce out. Blend slowly at first, then at a high speed until it is smooth and homogenous.  Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, a little at first, blend and taste, adjust seasoning and blend again.  Cook the sauce, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring periodically. 

I came up with this recipe while learning about the properties of unfamiliar foods I would be using as a vegan. I already understood veggies and beans, but I needed to learn about vegan "cheeses", tofu, "milks".  When a vegan cheese melts, what does this mean? In some cases, not much, it just gets a little softer. So I began branching out and thinking of other ways to achieve a "creamy" consistency. Rather than melting, I began thinking of blending, and worked with silken tofu. Tofu can have a pronounced bean aftertaste, which I don't mind, but non-vegans might, so I next began thinking of strong accompanying flavors -- tomato, garlic, vodka -- Vodka Sauce!

In my mind, this is the ultimate comfort food, pillowy, sticky, tender pasta enveloped in a smooth, flavorful sauce. Pre-vegan, I discovered that freshly ground nutmeg greatly enhanced anything I made with cream, even savory flavors, so I included it here and I think it works well.  I hope you enjoy it!


  1. This is a MUST for me to try - so I've sent it to my wonderful cook boyfriend as a request. I'll let you know eventually. :)

  2. Hi Kelly! Thanks for reading! I'm glad you noticed this one. It is so delicious and pretty easy to make. Maybe I'll make it for dinner tonight! Enjoy --