Vodka Sauce with Blackened Tempeh


I love vodka sauce but I wanted to make a healthier vegan version. I adapted an existing vodka sauce recipe and added some of my favorite vegan tricks to make the conversion. And success! So ding dang good.

Unfortunately all of the booze has been cooked out of the sauce so it wont get you crunk but I think this hot spring mix from Kaytranada will do the trick!

Vodka Sauce with Blackened Tempeh

4 cloves of garlic
1 lime
3 tablespoon Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 package of tempeh

Wheat Pasta

1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of tahin or lime zest
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of cumin

2 stalks of celery
1 cup of carrots
3 cloves of garlic
1 white onion
2 tablespoons of fresh basil
1 (28 ounce) can roma tomatoes, with juice
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 cup of vodka
2 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 jalepeno pepper

3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of cashews

Fresh peas (optional)


First we are going to make the marinade for the tempeh. Dice the garlic finely and place it in a Tupperware with a lid with the juice of 1 lime, the liquid aminos and the balsamic vinegar. Slice the tempeh in one inch slices then slice those slices on a diagonal down the middle. Toss with the marinade and set aside.


Now we are going to make a vegetable paste, which will add sooo much flavor to the sauce. Put the celery, onion, garlic and carrots in a blender and blend until it is a smooth paste. Place in a pot with two tablespoons of olive oil, jalapeno and basil and cook until the paste starts to brown (about 10 minutes). Add the vodka to the paste and then cook for another 10 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce and canned tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt or to taste. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes or so.


While the sauce is cooking we will make the cashew cream. Take 1/2 cups of cashews and blend with 3/4 cups of water. If you do not have an industrial blender like a Vitamix it is probably a good idea to soak the cashews for a few hours before hand.

Cook some pasta and set aside.

Now we are going to make a rub for the tempeh so it can get nice and blackened. Combine the chili powder, cayenne, tahin, crushed red pepper, paprika and cumin in a bowl. Dredge the marinated tempeh strips in the rub add some oil to a pan (I used earth balance) and cook over high heat until each side of the tempeh is blackened.



Once the sauce has cooked for 30 minutes and all of the flavors have melded add the cashew cream to the sauce and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the sauce over the pasta and finish with the tempeh and some fresh basil.

Note: This is my friend Tim.  He knows lots of things. One time he told me to write a rap about algorithms. He said that the only thing missing from this recipe are some fresh peas for a pop of sweetness.  Next time I make this I will def heed his suggestion. This made a lot of sauce. I will be posting another recipe tomorrow (and if not then def. by Wednesday)  to show you something else you can use the sauce for so you are not eating pasta all week long :)



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