I love Jersey Shore, and when it comes to enjoying pop culture, I do me. Jersey Shore fills the void in my heart left by The Simple Life and The Hills. Can you imagine if they actually film a season in Italy?! Hey, stop rolling your eyes!
In case you haven't caught an episode or just can't stand that show (two things I will never understand) the cast is a big fan of family style Sunday night dinners. I've noticed they make a lot of vodka cream sauce for their pasta. If Snooks can do it, I imagine I can too, vegan style! Maybe even without almost burning down the kitchen! Although, I should save drinking the leftover vodka until after the cooking, for safety measures.
You will need:
*2lb of fresh tomatoes (or 2 cans of diced tomatoes.)
*1 red onion
*5 cloves of garlic (I'm just assuming what a normal person would use. I used 11)
*1/4 cup red wine (jungle juice of pasta sauces! Soooo Jersey Shore)
*1/2 soaked cashews + 3/4 cup water (or one cup soy creamer)**
*1/2 cup vodka
*1 tsp agave nectar
*1 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp pepper
*1 Tbs Italian seasoning
**I like making cashew cream - it's rich and it helps limit my soy intake. To make the cashew cream for this recipe, soak a heaping 1/3 cup of raw, unsalted cashews for 6 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge. You can boil them if you are short on time, at medium high for about 20 minutes. Soaked/boiled they will measure out to about half a cup. In a blender, add cashews and 3/4 water for 1 cup of cashew cream!
First, chop your onion. The sauce will be blended, so dice it, roughly chop it, whatever you want. Add about 2 Tbs of olive oil to a pan and turn it onto medium heat, bringing down heat to medium/low once your onions start sizzling. Saute until soft and transparent (7-10 minutes) or caramelized (20 or longer). When your onions are close to done, add your Italian herbs, so they can cook into the onions.
Dice your tomatoes, trying your best to de-seed them as you go. Add to the onions, turn up to medium/ medium high, and cook for about 20 minutes. About 15 minutes in, add your chopped garlic. Don't let it burn! When tomatoes are cooked down, add agave nectar, 1/4 cup red wine, 1/2 Tbs of salt and a dash of pepper. Let go for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Melody of colors! This is why I like using fresh tomatoes as opposed to canned.
Everything goes in the blender! Blend til smooth and put back into your pot/pan. At this point decide if you need more Italian seasoning, salt and/or pepper. Add 1/2 cup vodka and cook on medium high until the strong vodka flavor cooks away, about 10 - 15 minutes. Whisk in your cashew or soy cream, bring to a light boil for a couple of minutes and you are done!
Whisk in cream.
Cook til incorporated! It should only take a few minutes.
Update: The Italy season was super depressing and so began the end of my love affair with Jersey Shore. I also never use fresh tomatoes anymore; they are so expensive and canned ones taste the same to me.