It starts the usual way sauces do—sauté onion and garlic, add some chile flakes, then booze, then tomatoes, but then it swerves off course. Here’s the secret to its success: You take this perfectly adequate sauce and roast it in the oven for an hour and a half.
I sometimes start my sauce by caramelizing my tomato paste in olive oil over the heat, then deglazing that with about 1/4 bottle of red wine. The sweet caramelized tomato paste/wine combo makes things really punchy in the end, even through a long simmer.
For those of you who are allergic to tomatoes, can’t eat nightshades, don’t care for marinara, or are simply looking for an alternative to ubiquitous red sauce, here’s an idea: braised onion pasta sauce.
Alfredo is just butter and parmesan— that’s it. I mean the real original Alfredo—it’s not milk and flour and garlic and other things in a jar. That vegan recipe is closer to a Salsa di Noci (without the cream, obviously, and with cashews instead of walnuts) than to an Alfredo. Why not call it Garlic Cashew Sauce? It would be the right name.