With savoury, crumbled tempeh and a rich tomato sauce, this could quickly become your go-to plant-based pasta sauce. If you’re using wine, pick something good enough to drink with dinner, whatever that means to you.
8 large plum tomatoes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) cane sugar (optional)
4 garlic cloves, crushed with flat side of knife and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) sliced fresh parsley
1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine (optional)
8 oz (225 g) pkg tempeh, finely chopped or pulsed several times in food processor until crumbly
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano, or vegan cheese (optional)
Slash an “X” in bottom of each tomato and blanch in boiling water until skins are loose and wrinkled, about 1 minute. Transfer one tomato to bowl of ice water. If its skin peels easily, add remaining tomatoes to ice bath. When cool, peel and dice tomatoes. In large sieve, drain excess liquid.
In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add shallots and cane sugar (if using). Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until shallots are translucent and softened. Add garlic and all but a handful of parsley, re-cover, and cook for
5 minutes. Add wine, if using, and cook, uncovered,
5 minutes more, or until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, crumbled tempeh, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, partially covered. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, and sugar as needed.
Serve with any pasta. Top with remaining fresh parsley and grated cheese, if desired.