Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to make the creamiest vegan pasta

Yum


My favorite question to ask to anyone is, “what is your go-to food when you want to wind down after a long day?” I personally think what a person considers as a “comfort” food depicts a deep narrative about the person. Comfort food, I believe, embodies more than just a pile of deep-fried carbs drowned with unethical amount of fatty goop, which ultimately make me feel intensely grossed out rather than comforted. What I crave in my personal comfort food is something that will remind me that the world is a safe place, full of calorie-free donuts and real life pokemons. I want to feel great before, during and after I have eaten the meal. Naturally, whenever I need shelter from my adult life, I always end up crawling back to my favorite childhood moments – eating noodles.

Avocado vegan pasta



Because people obviously, passionately and obsessively think my life is very interesting (thank you very much for the love. I deeply appreciate it), it is natural to be asking how the hell eating noodles is special. Well, growing up in Myanmar, we eat two main meals – lunch and dinner, which must revolve around rice. During other times, such as breakfast, tea time (around 4pm) and supper (around 11pm), we eat something “light” like noodles, as a snack. My mom is a physician and worked late, and if I were lucky enough, she would surprise me and my siblings with Kyay-Oh, a Burmese-version of pho. Then, we would fight over who deserve more meatballs – you know, a typical sibling ritual. So, I guess I always associate the idea of noodle with a treat, a hope and a sudden burst of pleasure and unfortunate physical activity.

I came up with this tomato-avocado pasta recipe out of sheer desperation to alleviate starvation and frustration while I was studying for my exams a couple of months ago. It has quickly become my favorite, because first, it takes maximum 15 minutes to cook, and second, it is extraordinarily creamy. The ingredients used in this recipe are common, but the way they were used really transformed the final product into something comforting yet unfamiliar. The “secret” ingredients for the sauce are smoky sake and rich-cool jade green avocado. Using sake to braise sweet red plum tomatoes really bring out the flavor notes that are otherwise not extractable by water. Avocado pureed with a slight hint of grassy cilantro, added right before serving, imparts both herbal pungentness of cilantro that I crave and ultimate creaminess to the sauce without the help of any cheese or cream.

Is it authentic Burmese food? Hello No. Is it wildly, utterly, unapologetically delicious? Absolutely YES!!! So, my question to you is “what is your comfort food?”.

Avocado vegan pasta



Serving size 1

Ingredients
  • 2 oz. of whole wheat pasta
  • 9 oz. of tiny sweet plum or grape tomatoes (about lightly packed 3 cups) - halved
    • It is imperative that you use small tomatoes because they are sweeter yet less watery, compared to their bigger cousins. What you don't want is a tomato soup-drenched pasta. Cherry tomatoes are not substitute here, also because I still think they are weepy.
  • ½ cup of unfiltered sake
  • ½ medium-sized avocado
  • 2 tbsps of cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 fat clove of garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup of water


Directions

This recipe is for only one serving for several reasons. First, I have absolutely zero self-control when it comes to leftovers. I would just brush my teeth, but still  eat leftover and then go to sleep. Leftover = cavities for Soe. Root canals are expensive and painful. I am a student with no money. It is safer to make one serving. Second, as delicious as it is, the dish is only good if you are eating it right away. Don’t even think about packing lunch for tomorrow. You will be greeted with brown weepy tangles instead of the original red jade sheen.

Heat up an ample amount of water for pasta to cook. Salt generously, and follow your pasta package instructions and cook to one minute less than the suggested al dente.

In the meantime, heat up one tablespoon of oil under medium high in an iron skillet. Throw in the chopped garlic, quickly followed by tomato halves. Let the tomato cook for about 1 minute. I really like how tomatoes get scorched up with an iron skillet. Also, don’t worry about the myth of “you cannot cook tomatoes in ironskillets”. 

Add in the sake, sugar and a pinch of salt cover and cook for about 4 minutes or until the pan is almost dry. Splash in ½ cup of water. Use your spatula and squeeze the tomato so that the juice starts flowing out. Cover and cook for another 4 minutes.

In the meantime, make your avocado sauce by pureeing ½ avocado, with ½ cup of pasta water and 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

When the 4-minute is up for the pasta sauce, stir in your pasta and cook for another one minute until most sauce has evaporated. Off the heat, and stir in avocado sauce. Season with more salt if needed (although I highly doubt you do) and garnish with cilantro.



print recipe

Creamiest Vegan Pasta
You can make the creamiest vegan pasta with two secret ingredients - avocado and sake.
Ingredients
  • 2 oz. whole wheat pasta
  • 9 oz. iny sweet plum or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup unfiltered sake
  • 1/2   medium-sized avocado
  • 2 tbsps cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
Heat up an ample amount of water for pasta to cook. Salt generously, and follow your pasta package instructions and cook to one minute less than the suggested al dente.In the meantime, heat up one tablespoon of oil under medium high in an iron skillet. Throw in the chopped garlic, quickly followed by tomato halves. Let the tomato cook for about 1 minute. I really like how tomatoes get scorched up with an iron skillet. Also, don’t worry about the myth of “you cannot cook tomatoes in ironskillets”. Add in the sake, sugar and a pinch of salt cover and cook for about 4 minutes or until the pan is almost dry. Splash in ½ cup of water. Use your spatula and squeeze the tomato so that the juice starts flowing out. Cover and cook for another 4 minutes.In the meantime, make your avocado sauce by pureeing ½ avocado, with ½ cup of pasta water and 2 tablespoons of cilantro.When the 4-minute is up for the pasta sauce, stir in your pasta and cook for another one minute until most sauce has evaporated. Off the heat, and stir in avocado sauce. Season with more salt if needed (although I highly doubt you do) and garnish with cilantro.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 serving

If you like this post, also check out Chorizo Pasta.


18 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe, it looks amazing! <3

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    1. Thanks for visiting Kasee. Hope you get to try this :D

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  2. This looks and sounds delicious. Sake, avocado, garlic, olive oil. Nothing not to like here :) My comfort food is ice cream. I wonder what that says about me lol!

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    1. That means you probably have a great taste :D

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  3. Been searching for a vegan recipe that looks this tasty for a while!

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    1. Omg thanks for your kind words Nicole. Let me know how it turns out.

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  4. Looks delicious! I'm trying to eat more vegetarian/vegan food this summer so I'll have to try this recipe.

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    1. Yay...let me know how it turns out.

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  5. I love pasta but I always have it with some meat or seafood. I do love pasta aglio olio. Definitely trying this one.!

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    1. A friend of mine tried this recipe with grilled chicken, and he thinks it works :D Let me know how it turns out.

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  6. Burmese? Yes please! Looks delicious

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  7. This looks delicious! And thanks for the tips on choosing the best tomatoes for this recipe :)

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Yes, I am usually not picky, but this one I really need to use small sweet plum ones.

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  8. Love that this pasta is vegan AND creamy! Sounds amazing. Love the photography!

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    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate it :D

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  9. I need to try a pasta dish with avocado. I haven't despite all the rave about it. I have plenty :) I cook tomatoes on iron skillet all the time too LOL! And there's nothing better than a homemade pasta sauce!

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    1. It is so good Marvellina. You have gotta try it.

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