This sauce, being a vodka sauce, is not gonna win any awards for diet cuisine, what with the three different cheeses and all, but, I saved quite a bit of calories, fat, and cholesterol by using creamed cottage cheese in place of cream cheese or ricotta, and, like I said in the beginning… I didn’t add no meat – just ‘shrooms and baby spinach.
•1/2 lb sliced ‘shrooms
•Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce
(or your favorite hot sauce), optional
•1 onion, diced
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
•1/2 jar spicy veggie juice
•1/3 cup vodka
•3/4 cup creamed cottage cheese
•1 or 2 bay leaves
•1/2 tsp dried basil
•1/4 cup Parmesan (I used some Grana I had in my cheese drawer)
•1/3 cup diced Provolone
First things first, grate the Parmesan (or Grana) and set aside, then place the cottage cheese in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until smooth. If you have a handy dandy mini processor, this is the perfect time to use it.
Note: I am using the creamed cottage cheese (4% milk fat – compare the ingredients required to make that ‘lite’ cottage cheese) to save (big) on fat and calories over regular cream or ricotta cheeses without all of the stuff added to other ‘lite’ options. The finished sauce will be mebbe a little grainier looking, but will still taste rich and creamy and delicious. Little steps, people, to get to a better, healthier dinner.
Melt a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, then add the sliced ‘shrooms. Sprinkle with seasoned salt, toss to coat, then sauté for four or five minutes.
Add a bit (mebbe a teaspoon or two, depending on your taste) of Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your preferred hot sauce) and continue to sauté until pan liquids are cooked away. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then the onion and cook for three minutes.
Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and Aleppo pepper and cook for another two minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the creamed cottage cheese, Parmesan, bay leaf, and basil and cook, stirring often until the cheeses are melted – about 30 minutes.
We had ours over penne with garlic bread and thought it very nice.
Tonight, I am upping the veggie stakes by serving the leftover sauce over oven fried eggplant slices with a nice bit of aged Provolone melted over the top. Hey, I cut out the meat, so that means I get to use extra cheese, right?
Works for me…