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Should spaghetti sauce be heated to taste good?

I went to a vegan place here in Reno and got a faux pasta dish with the sauce on top. Since they serve raw food nothing is heated to more than 110 degrees. I didn't like the faux pasta dish in part because cold sauce tasted like leftovers. The coolness seems to emphasize the acidity and gave it an unappetizing texture.
My original thought is that Italians invented spaghetti sauce and they figured out it's best hot. But maybe there's Italian dishes that use a cold sauce.
What are people's thoughts about this?

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  1. There's an Italian preparation called Salsa Cruda. It's an uncooked tomato sauce, but even it gets served on cooked pasta.

    I'll stick with cooked sauces, and real pasta.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      The closest to that I know of was a standard offering in the area around Brindisi when I was there. On the plane home I sat with two sisters from Bari who explained the process of cutting up fresh tomatoes and letting them drain, then heating oil, adding and stirring chopped garlic for several minutes, then doing the same with the tomatoes just until they go soft. Add the strained juice and salt to taste.

      Of course if you want an uncooked sauce that has no tomatoes anywhere near it, there's always pesto! That would probably make even this fake "pasta" taste good.

      1. re: Will Owen

        The thing the zucchini is wrapped around is supposed to be pesto. It didn't help.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          to be fair, that dish actually sounds like it would be really good (and a tasty veg option) if it were warmed up.

          Cold, no thanks.

          1. re: SteveTimko

            I can't imagine vegan pesto would be quite the same, although I'm sure you could make make something edible with the non-cheese components

      2. Cold pasta sauce? Yuck.

        Not just leftovers -- leftovers scarfed standing in front of an empty fridge, trying to soak up all the booze....


        1. Looks tasty but should def. be heated with some nice mozz. cheese melted on top.....I know,I know...vegan and all that! just sayin.....

          1. Spaghetti sauce is traditionally a cooked sauce.
            This place should have served a raw tomato sauce over the dish.

            1. I'm not that finicky about the temperature of my food, but cold spaghetti sauce of this type doesn't sound good to me. There are plenty of raw tomato-based sauces that would work perfectly well. And if it was overly acidic and unappetizing, then clearly something wasn't working.

              1. The sauce has to be cooked at some point.How do you expect to get the flavors to blend? I will eat cold spaghetti with sauce right out of the refrigerator the next day.
                Faux pasta and raw food, you couldn't pay me to eat at a place like that.

                9 Replies
                1. re: genoO

                  But as mentioned, there are uncooked 'sauces.' I do it somewhat often in the summer when tomatoes are good. Chop them, put in basil, capers, sweet onions perhaps, grated cheese and oo. Dump the cooked, still warm pasta over and serve. But that stuff in Steve's photo looks nasty :( And Steve takes good pix :)

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Ah, that cooked pasta is a problem here...

                  2. re: genoO

                    The vegan pho was delicious and would be loved by most Chowhounds, I think.
                    That's part of the reason it was so frustrating. The vegan pho was a bullseye and the faux pasta dish wasn't anywhere near the target.

                    1. re: SteveTimko

                      Looks delicious, but was it served tepid?

                      1. re: SteveTimko

                        I will take your word for it, but I'm grossing a little bit on the foam and the verdolaga (a texture thing). Or are those giant sprouts?

                        <ETA> The foam is likely lime juice, right?

                          1. re: SteveTimko

                            oddly the "pasta" photo looks good - the Pho does not. How did they get an acceptable "raw" broth? is it like an herbal sun tea?

                            I had raw beef in my Pho for lunch today - that was good but I dont think it would fly here LOL

                            1. re: SteveTimko

                              I'm stumped for how to pull off a raw vegan pho

                              was it complex?

                              1. re: cgarner

                                Quite complex and lots of good flavors. it should probably be called cilantro soup instead of pho. But it was quite tasty.
                                I was at another restaurant in town that offered vegan pho and it was quite bland.

                          2. why mimic a "cooked" dish? Tomatoes are tasty raw - like in salsa or in a salad etc - you can make a raw tomato topping taste good - but tomato sauce is cooked - faux sauce on faux pasta is gives an image of a food it is just not going to taste anything like- raw veggies formatted to look like something else are going to still taste like raw veggies.

                            1. Oh gosh. That entree must have been one big mess once you took a piece of flatware to it. Cold sauce on top of cold zucchini ribbons stuffed with a delightful filling of cold spinach mush. It just sings Italian yumminess.

                              1 Reply
                                1. re: beevod

                                  Have you ever been served cold pasta sauce in a restaurant?

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    yes, and I sent it back to be heated up. Obviously a kitchen mistake.......................

                                2. My preference is to have the sauce hot too!
                                  I am not the biggest leftover fan either so this would definitely remind me of that!

                                  Interesting (in a good way) looking dish though...

                                  1. I make uncooked tomato sauces but, always over hot cooked pasta, tossed just like a pesto sauce.

                                    1. I found this on Pinterest and though WOW, it's almost EXACTLY what is posted on CH

                                      anyways... there are ways to "cook" veggies without using much heat, to make them more of the texture of a cooked pasta, but I would think that it would run amok with that sauce

                                      I'd prefer something lighter, like a salsa crudo or salsa fresca

                                      vitamix and straining would give the 'right' texture and the flavor would be fresher (than that looks anyway)

                                      1. It strikes me as ironic that so many vegan restaurants attempt to make their food look like the food 99% of the people on the planet want to eat.
                                        Something wrong there IMO.
                                        When everything on the menu is 'faux' there's a problem.
                                        "Good evening. Would you care for the fake pork chops or the fake beef or the fake chicken tonight? (Don't worry. Our chef is a genius at making raw vegetables look like something you are secretly wishing to eat when you finally get away from these whack jobs tonight".)
                                        Honest to God. I attended a 'Save The Whales' dinner/meeting at a vegan restaurant in Victoria many moons ago.
                                        The guest speaker insisted on the venue.
                                        Two hours later my BIL and I are enjoying a wor won ton at a chinese restaurant.
                                        In walks the guest speaker and his 'entourage' and they order pretty much every protein dish on the menu.
                                        They never clued in that we were at the vegan restaurant for the meeting.

                                        1. if that is vegan, what are the parmesan-looking crumbly bits actually?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            I'm not certain, but I think it was something out of nuts.

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              maybe something either made from cashew milk or nutritional yeast?