This pasta sauce is oil-free, vegan, and plant-based. It's easy to throw together because of a few short-cuts. Use canned tomatoes, jarred garlic, and (mostly) dried herbs. Pair this pasta sauce with any Italian dish for a homemade, fresh look and taste.
Take the seeds out of the dates and put into very hot water. Let sit for about 20 minutes. They should be softened and almost falling apart at the end of this time. If you started with drier dates then you will need a little extra time.
(You can begin sautéing your onions and garlic and chopping the fresh basil while the dates are soaking . Directions for this will be in a step below.)
After dates have soaked and are softened, put into a food processor till they form a smooth paste. If you don't have a food processor then you could use a high-speed blender along with a little water. You will need to cook the extra water out of your sauce for a few minutes with the lid off. Your yield from the dates alone will be a scant 1/4 cup.
Chop the onions, garlic and fresh basil. I use pre-chopped bottled garlic to save time.
Line a non-stick medium sized sauce pan with vegetable broth. Add your chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 7-10 minutes. Watch your pan carefully and add a little more vegetable broth if necessary to keep from sticking.
Once the onions have softened, add the other ingredients. Cover and let simmer for about an hour to nicely blend the flavors together. Make sure to fetch out the bay leaf!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
If you don't have dates but still want to make this recipe , use up to 1 teaspoon of sugar. Using dates will make it a truly plant-based recipe.
Tahini paste can be tricky to find in the grocery store. Try by the ethnic foods or by kosher foods. I've also found in the in organic/health section. I using just source mine online. If you don't have tahini paste but still want to make this recipe, it will still taste good - but not the same. A plant-based kitchen will do well with jar of tahini in the cupboard.