I used to think blenders were only used for making smoothies. Boy oh boy was I wrong! Along with a food processor and good knives, a Vitamix is one of the other kitchen devices I have invested in. I truly have never fallen in love so fast and now I use my Vitamix for everything from soups to dips to sauces (like this one!). I have a friend who actually made a 5 course meal all from his Vitamix, wow!
Anyway, when I first stopped eating meat, Scott got me a cooking class so we could learn interesting ways to cook veggies – I mean, we thought eating veggies might get boring, silly us. After a visit to the Santa Barbara farmer’s market we roasted veggies threw them in a blender and made a roasted veggie soup. I was in awe. That one simple step turned regular old roasted veggies into a thick and creamy soup. This may be when my love affair with the Vitamix began…
I’ve been dying to try an heirloom tomato sauce because I just love love love heirlooms. They are one of those foods that taste nearly as good they look – oh so pretty! So I took that process of the roasted veggie soup I learned years ago and applied it here. I truly could have stopped at that step but since I was planning to put this sauce on pasta, I went one step further and added in some milk to thin it out. The milk and eggplant make a creamy combination that is balanced perfectly with the sweetness of the heirlooms. I could literally put this sauce on just about anything!
Additionally, this is a great dish for dinner parties because it makes a lot of servings (approximately 6 1/2 cups of sauce) and it basically cooks itself. While the veggies are roasting you can sit back, relax and chat with your guests instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
- 2 cups eggplant cubed
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped - I used heirlooms but cherry or any other version will work as well
- 3 large or 4 medium cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning - I used a pre-made blend but it's basically a mixture of basil, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, etc.
- 2 cups non dairy milk (soy, almond, etc.)
- 16 oz pasta ( you can also put this over polenta, veggies or another grain if pasta ain't your thing...)
- 1 cup basil, diced
- Preheat oven to 375. In order to not have to reheat the sauce, it's best to have the milk heated or at room temp so you can take out of the fridge.
- Place eggplant, tomato onion and garlic on a roasting pan. Add olive oil and spices. Mix until well coated.
- Roast in oven for 40 minutes or until eggplant begins to brown and tomatoes soften.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions.
- If milk is chilled, slightly heat in a pan until warm. Skip this step if milk is at room temperature.
- Add all the veggies from your roasting pan and milk into a high speed blender. Mix until combined. Taste and add any additional spices. I added a dash more of the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. You can also add red pepper flakes to spice it up! If sauce is not warm enough, you can heat further in a pan.
- Once pasta is cooked and drain, top with sauce and a sprinkle of basil and enjoy.