Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce and Frustration

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce. I used whole wheat pasta because I am cool like that. 
It is hard to believe it is November already, and that I have not posted anything this month. Midterms kept me busy for quite some time. They also unleashed much despair and chaos onto my life. Well, that was then. Now I face another struggle, which quite honestly is a thorn in my side lately.

What is it? I can't get into much detail for confidentiality reasons, but let's just say that helping people who are not ready to be helped is a challenge. I know it is not about me, and yet me is part of the equation. As much as I try to remove me in efforts to think objectively, it sneaks in. It also takes things personally. I can't help it, I am human. There is a word I thought I would never use in regards to myself.

I am writing this to vent a ton and to also to draw some conclusions. The conclusions I have been able to gather in a neat pink bow thus far are: meet the person where they are, and ride it out with them, even if you sit in a room together, in silence. The wave will break eventually - PLEASE break.


Notice my feline friend Lilah in the background. I think she brings it all together, don't you? 
Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced (I like garlic!)
1 (28-oz can) crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper (I used lots of it)
Sea salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon or less)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar (I used about 3/4 of a teaspoon)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup green peas, defrosted (optional)
1/4 cup raw blanched almonds, slivered and soaked overnight (This is your almond cream for the tomato sauce)

* Cooked pasta of choice. 

To make the cream, soak the almonds in 1 to 2 cups of water, in the refrigerator, overnight.

In a large pan, sauté the onion in oil for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and continue sautéing for another minute or so. You can add a splash of water instead of additional oil to prevent it from burning.

Add crushed tomatoes, pepper, sugar, oregano, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to low, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.

During this time, prepare the pasta of choice and make the cream.

To make the almond cream, drain the almonds, add a splash or two of water and process it in a high powered blender. The cream should yield about 3 tablespoons total. I used all of it in my sauce.

This is what the almond cream should look like. 
Once your tomato sauce is ready, use an immersion blender to make it smooth or if you like it chunky, don't bother. Add the peas, cream and mix well. Taste for seasonings, adjust accordingly.

Ready for pasta!
Serve over pasta of choice.

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