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5 Tomato Sauce Recipes to Up Your Pasta Game

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5 Tomato Sauce Recipes to Up Your Pasta Game
tomato sauce recipes
Photo by Alesia Kozik from Pexels

Sauce is boss! And if there's one type of sauce that tastes great no matter what, it's tomato sauce. However, marinara isn't your only option as the juicy fruit (yup, tomato is fruit like many other thought-to-be veggies) pairs great with pretty much any ingredient, from faux meat to seeds. So, if you're set on spicing up your otherwise bland noodles, these five tomato sauce recipes are a great place to start.

1. "Summer Harvest" Tomato Sauce

Packed with some of summer's most delicious produce, this tomato sauce is the best way to set off a bowl of ordinary pasta. Thanks to its hefty dose of olive oil, it also has a smooth texture, which is pleasantly "disturbed" by the crunchy bits of olives, onion, and carrot.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the tomato flakes and 3 cups of water to a pot and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until the flakes start dissolving.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, peppers, and carrot for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
  3. Transfer the sauteed veggies to the pot and add the remaining ingredients (except for the olives). Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in the olives right before serving.

2. Chicken Bolognese Sauce

Traditionally, Bolognese sauce is made with minced meat. However, this version uses SOY protein chicken bits instead of the real deal, which taste just as great and carry half the calories. So, if you've been looking for a way to cut back on meat without compromising on flavor, this tomato sauce recipe is here to save the day.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the soy protein chicken bits and carrots to a bowl along with 2 cups of warm water and soak for 15 minutes. To remove excess liquid, squeeze the bits gently and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot and sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, and chicken bits for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour the wine into the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add the remaining one at a time and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

3. Cheesy Cauliflower Tomato Sauce

Swapping meat for cauliflower, this tomato sauce has enough texture to charm even the pickiest of meat-eaters. The prep time is no longer than your average tomato sauce, so you can readily make it on a Wednesday when ketchup just doesn't cut it.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the cauliflower along with 3 cups of lukewarm water and soak for 15 minutes in a bowl. Once hydrated, gently squeeze the pearls until all excess liquid is removed. Set aside.
  2. In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and cauliflower for 3-4 minutes, constantly stirring so that the food doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Stir in the tomato flakes, and then add the wine and 1 cup of water—season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and parsley.

4. Pepita Tomato Sauce

Thick and chunky (almost like salsa), this tomato sauce isn't your average cling-on-your-noodles gravy. Instead, it’s on the thicker side, which means it's perfect for the kind of pasta that calls for a heartier spread, i.e., fusilli, lasagna, or fettuccine.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the chipotle peppers, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds to a food processor. Pulse until slightly chunky.
  2. In a pot, add the tomato flakes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes more. If the consistency is too thick, add 2 tablespoons of warm water.

5. Chickpea Tomato Sauce

Swapping meat for chickpeas, this tomato sauce has enough texture to satisfy even the pickiest of carnivores. Thanks to its high content in protein, it's also perfect for anyone who's counting macros.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the chickpeas to a bowl along with 2 cups of water and soak overnight. The following day transfer to a pot and boil until fork-tender.
  2. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the chickpeas. Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 25 minutes or until crispy. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a pot and sauté the carrots and garlic for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the cheese) and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  5. Once cooked and slightly cooled, stir in the chickpeas and cheese and serve on top of your favorite noodles.

Would you try any of these tomato sauce recipes? Let us know in the comments down below!

References:

  1. https://www.cookingforkeeps.com/chicken-bolognese/
  2. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/238617/broiled-cauliflower-with-four-cheese-tomato-sauce/
  3. https://www.sarcasticcooking.com/2019/09/14/trader-joes-copycat-pepita-salsa/
  4. https://minimalistbaker.com/simple-chickpea-bolognese/

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