Hello guys! I invited a group of my close friends and had a chill housewarming this weekend. Since a few of them were vegetarian, I wanted them to have some options and not just pizza. Therefore I made a simple vegetarian baked ziti with a quick white wine tomato cream sauce. I’m not a big fan of babysitting things on the stove, so I try to create/recreate recipes that cut the time in half but still have a lot of flavor! Especially since people nowadays (including myself) have so many responsibilities and errands, it’s hard to cut out 3 hours or let alone an hour to make sauces or a meal. I hope you all like it!
Yields: ~ 7 cups of sauce
2 cans of 28 oz peeled whole plum tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
2 large cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 medium sized onion (chopped)
~ 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (not pictured)
~ 2 tsp dried oregano
~ 3 sprigs of thyme
~ 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chiffonade)
~ 8 oz of mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup freshly ground parmesan reggiano
Salt & Pepper
~ 1tbsp oil
Chiffonade the basil. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Gently hand crush the tomatoes into bite sized pieces.
Tip – How to chiffonade:
- Lay your leafy greens (herbs, spinach, lettuce, etc) flat on the cutting board
- Stack them on top of each other
- Roll the stack up (like rolling up a carpet)
- Moving your wrists in a upward and downward motion, cut the leafy greens
- Now you should have nice little ribbons of your leafy greens
Tip – How to destem fresh thyme:
- Hold the top of the thyme sprig with one hand
- Use the other hand and gently pull the leaves off the sprig in a downward motion
- It’s that easy!
In a medium sized pot on medium heat, add your oil. Then add your onions, garlic, crushed red, and ~ 2-3 grounds of sea salt (1/2 tsp). Stir to combine, let the onions sweat, and allow all the ingredients to get to know each other for ~ 2-3 minutes.
cheese Continue to stir. Once you see the onions become translucent and start browning, lower the heat and add your white wine to deglaze the bottom of your pot — use your utensil and gently scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the little caramelized bits. Allowing the ingredients to brown and deglazing the pot adds an extra layer of flavor. Simmer for ~30 seconds to cook out the alcohol.
Gently pour the crushed tomatoes, basil (reserve some for garnish), oregano and thyme. Stir and raise to medium-high heat. Here you can taste the sauce and adjust the S&P amount to your liking.
When the sauce comes to a light boil, lower the heat and simmer the sauce for ~ 20-30 minutes. This is a good step to cook your pasta. (if you’re making baked pasta, don’t cook the pasta all the way — still needs to finish in the oven)
In a extra large bowl, pour your sauce, pasta, and/ or vegetables (in this case — zucchini) into the bowl. Next scoop your cheese into the bowl. Mix until the heat of the pasta and sauce melts the cheese & creates a nice smooth creamy sauce.
Sprinkle a lot or a little of the parmesan reggiano cheese over the pasta, and mix until combined. Adjust the S&P to your liking. Minus the pasta steps, your sauce is done here! I used this sauce this weekend to make baked pasta, so next I put it in a huge oven safe baking dish, and baked it for 20-30 minutes at 350 °F. Then sprinkled the remaining basil for garnish.
I hope you all enjoyed this quick recipe! Please feel free to comment or like below, I would love to explore more of your awesome blogs 🙂