Steamed root vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins and red potatoes ground with freshly made coconut milk, come together in this delicately spiced, thick and creamy pasta sauce that is all-natural, dairy-free and utterly delicious!
Ingredients (serves 4):
- Sweet Potato, Yam, Red Potato, Pumpkin (roughly chopped) (3 cups)
- Onion (finely chopped) (I used half a medium sized red onion)
- Garlic (1 medium sized pod – you can use more, I didn’t want to overwhelm the dish with garlic)
- Italian (dried) seasoning (1/2 tsp)
- Grated Coconut (fresh, not dried) (2 heaped tbsp)
- Sea Salt (to taste)
- Black Pepper powder (to taste)
- Ghee/Butter (1 tbsp)
- Melt the ghee or butter in a large pan on medium heat.
- Add Italian seasoning, onion and crushed garlic.
- When the onion is translucent, add chopped root vegetables.
- Season with sea salt and pepper and cook covered. Add water if necessary.
- Switch off the flame when the vegetables are fully cooked.
- Grind coconut with a little water (say 1/2 cup).
- Using a strainer, separate the milk from the coconut.
- You should now have the first extract of coconut milk.
- Add the coconut back into the mixer, add some more water and repeat the process of grinding and extracting the milk two times.
- The coconut milk is now ready!
- Grind the cooked vegetables with the coconut milk, until a smooth paste like consistency is achieved.
- Your sauce is ready! Mix in your favorite cooked pasta and heat the mixture in a pan for a few minutes, so that the flavors come together. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Garnish with coriander or parsley leaves.
Sweet (root vegetables, coconut), sour (none), salty (sea salt), bitter (Italian herbs), pungent (pepper, garlic, onion), astringent (Italian herbs and coriander leaves).
This is a great dish for vata season or fall/autumn/early winter when root vegetables are in freshly and abundantly available. The nourishing, grounding, moist, sweet, and salty nature of this dish helps balance the lightness, and dryness of the season. It can be kapha aggravating in excess, but the pungent ingredients like garlic and pepper help counter that. Coconut is a great replacement for milk/cream and cheese that is traditionally used in such pasta sauces. It provides the same richness in taste, while still being nourishing, wholesome, but still easy on the digestion. Overall, this is good for vatas and pittas, and okay for kaphas in moderation.
This is a relatively sattvic recipe in moderation because of its mild, sweet and nourishing qualities. Compared to the traditional cheesy version of the same sauce, it is also all-natural and contains no preservatives, artificial or processed ingredients. In excess, it will become too heavy on the digestion and end up becoming tamasic in nature.