Less Pasta, More Sauce
a/k/a you're doing it backwards
There is an old video of me (with an accompanying article that I can’t readily find), doing a thing called “More Sauce Less Pasta.” This is a concept Kerri and I came up with around 2005, when beginning work on what we called, somewhat jokingly, “less-meaterianism,” and what became our brand of flexitarianism, or healthy eating or, in a more “branded” way, VB6 (Vegan before 6pm, still a very smart book, we say, modestly.)
The reigning pasta gods were at the time warning us that pasta was not to be over sauced; that “tradition” was to coat the pasta, not drown. Which is fine, of course, but our response was: Not always. Poor people from Italy (or almost anywhere else) will tell you stories about barely having enough sauce to moisten their pasta, not out of choice but necessity. Most of us don’t have a problem making more sauce than we need, and we’ve come to feel that pasta is a vehicle for sauce, and – generally speaking – a pile of sauce is likely to be better for you than a pile of white durum flour mixed with water and just enough sauce to make it palatable.
Feel free to argue about this; I can see both sides myself. But when I make the sauce I’m about to describe, I always make way too much and I always eat all of it. (That’s not true of a super-rich sauce like carbonara, but not all sauces are the same.)
Anyway. I do feel like one of the most basic of all pasta sauces is an extremely lean and flavorful mix of tomatoes and assorted vegetables, cooked into a stew; and it’s also among the most underappreciated. This can be vegan (olive oil, no cheese), or not (butter, yes cheese; richer in every sense, less “pure”), but it is always good.