Making Progressively Enhanced Pasta

Last night I made a progressively enhanced dinner. In deference to my vegan, and vegetarian friends I don’t think I would call my dinner “enhanced”. I don’t think it means that my meal was better then theirs. I guess it was a progressively differentiated meal, but the idea’s of Progressive Enhancement were core to my meal making.

It started with pasta. I have been making pasta, and my own pasta sauce for a number of years now. I even created a video once that covers the basics, I really haven’t come that far from this video, although I have learned a weird beard is a bad idea. I have a few new tricks up my sleeve, but mostly around adaptability.

My the pasta, is always a semolina, but I have a friend who is sensitive to gluten. They brought their own rice based pasta. That is where its starts though, by having two pastas, I have already created two branching points.

The most Spartan meal that could be main would be the cooked, unsauced pasta, and it would be good. That I believe is the core of the meal. Though, for more advanced people, I support a more rich experience.

For those picky people, who dislike mushrooms, I made a mushroom, onion, and garlic thingy separate from everything else, that was vegan. The mushroom thingy could be added to any pasta bowl, by it’s very nature.

Other then the mushroom thingy, I made two base sauces. One was a fully vegan tomato suace made from canned whole tomatoes, and another sauce was a sausage based sauce also made from canned whole tomatoes.

Both sauces start the same. Browning some onions, and garlic in a pan with some form of fat, olive oil for vegans, a little butter for non-vegans. Then I added the sausage in the non-vegan pasta, cook until browned. At this point both pots have built a pretty good fond. Naturally I added some liquid to absorb the fond into the sauce. Since a couple of the vegans are also straight edge I try not to cook with alcohol. I deglaze the vegan sauce with strained tomato juice. The non-vegan sauce I almost always just throw in a bit of whatever I am drinking, at least if it’s close to simple. No Guinness, or wine spritzers, but it could be beer or wine, it doesn’t matter.

At this stage, I have let the tomato juice boil down a bit, and then throw in the whole tomatoes and break them apart a little, and then let the sauced stew on a low heat for 20 minutes, or so.

At this point you can build many dishes, I think this is a factorial operation. I have 5 basic ingrediants(semolina pasta, rice pasta, mushrooms, vegan sauce, sausage sauce). 5 factorial is a 120 sepereate dishes. From simple pasta, to overly sauced rice-pasta, mixed with semolina pasta, that is for adavanced people. Just like only advanced browsers can support advanced web page building tasks.