I had been experimenting the last two times I cooked, on trying to make a meatless pasta sauce. You're probably thinking -- has Brian gone mad? No meat?!
I think generally pasta is kind of a very heavy, filling meal. But if you take out the meat, then it becomes this starchy by light meal if you do it right. I had this idea of making pasta where it was more pasta than sauce, which is something completely foreign to me, having grown up eating spaghetti *drenched* in meat sauce.
The first time I tried making it, the result came out completely different from what I had pictured in my mind. I had this idea of the spaghetti being dry, and covered in olive oil and oregano. That part I had down pat. But the sauce didn't work out quite so well. I wanted to have this super strong flavored sauce so you didn't need a lot, and fresh tomatoes cooked, but chopped and sprinkled over the sauce.
Instead, I basically ran out of garlic, for one thing, and then I got lazy and didn't put onions, so it was, in the end, a mushroom and tomato mixture with tons of oregano, pepper and salt. What's worse is I cooked the tomato first and it turned into a mush, and the shrooms shrank to almost nothingness. By the end of it I barely had enough for just one meal, feeding 1 person, me.
For the second try I put the tomatoes in last, but it still ended up a mush. I bought garlic but once again left out onions. I rarely ever cook without onions, so that part was already a mistake. I also picked up some basil and sprinkled that in.
What I had pictured in my mind was totally different, but the sauce ended up being pretty tasty. Ina didn't particularly like it (she likes saucy stuff whereas I had never planned to make my creation saucy) but Darryl and I both thought it turned out decent.
Tonight I plan to try yet again. I have been reading up on pasta sauce and people talking about using canned stuff, just because it makes life easier and it's still possible to make it home-style even with the manufactured ingredients. To me that's something I may try later on, but for now I want to try to make it myself. I'm thinking to add diced mango to add some new flavor tonight (because I have mango in the fridge and need to get rid of it), and of course onions.
Looking forward to it.