A classic unpretentious lunch, nothing fancy. Add some drops of sauce to your shirt and a slice of bread to clean up what’s left on the plate. This sauce is the MVP of all pasta sauces, an ace when it comes to flavor. And now, guiltless, with no fat and lots of love!
You’ll need a fine cheese grinder, a big colander and a bit of strength to drain the hydrated soy protein.
The aftertaste people complain about in sauces made with soy protein comes from this water it lets loose when we drain it. If you’re feeling up to it you can even lay it in a table cloth and squeeze it well, to make it extra dry.
200g textured soy protein (the one that looks like ground meat)
500g homemade tomato sauce (or 2 cans from the supermarket)
1 big onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Basil, marjoram and oregano, dry
Liquid smoke (optional)
Salt and pepper
A bit of sugar, if necessary
One two steps:
Cover the dry soy in water and let it hydrate for at least 30 minutes. While you wait, you can chop the onion, grind the garlic and open up the tomato sauce cans, if you don’t have the homemade one.
In a medium pan, put a bit of water and let it boil in high heat. Add the chopped onion and let it cook in medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add salt and if the water dries up before the onions gets soft, add some spoons of water to prevent from burning. Add the garlic and keep an eye on this pan, sister! Don’t let it burn!
Lower the heat and add in the tomato sauce, mix it well and scrape the bottom to make sure there are no onions or garlic sticking in it. If the sauce is too sour, add a small pinch of sugar. Let it boil once more, while you prepare the soy protein.
Put the soy protein in the colander and drain its water. The best way is to do it in parts in order to drain it well. Here is a pro tip: use the back of a spoon to squeeze the soy in the colander (with energy!), so it gets perfectly dry.
Mix in the soy protein to the boiling sauce, stirring well. Add the dry spices, salt and pepper and the liquid smoke. If the sauce is too thick for you, add a bit of water. Let it boil again, so the flavors soak in. Turn the heat off and add the fresh basil when serving.
Tip: Use your hands to tear the basil leaves, by doing it you will preserve the aroma and taste of the herb plus it will give you a nice scent of a Italian Mama.
Ps: For the olive lovers, chop in some green ones, they taste amazing in this recipe!