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Dining

The fifth condiment: Spread some umami on your toast

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Try this paste in pasta, as a marinade or roasted over good crusty bread.

Here at Weekly we get plenty of tasty nibbles in the mail, but when a tube arrived that looked like hipster body lotion and promised a “flavor bomb” we were duly intrigued. Taste #5 Umami Paste by “cognitive cook” Laura Santtini does pack plenty of oomph into its spread—with notes of black olive, anchovy and balsamic vinegar layered over tomato paste for a condiment reminiscent of sun-dried tomato tapenade. While it can be added to pasta sauce, rubbed into meat or squeezed onto eggs, we sampled it on bread, and once we got past the grossness of squirting reddish brown streaks across our country white, the stuff wasn’t half bad. It even lived up to its name, hitting that odd, savory flavor G-spot known as the “fifth taste,” or umami. Are we going to forsake pesto, peanut butter and spicy mustard for cartloads of #5? Doubtful. But you could do worse with a pile of crackers and a few spoonfuls of feta cheese. Available at Fresh & Easy, $3.49 until July 6.

Sly Sausage

Find this recipe and more at laurasanttini.com

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

• 4 oz Chorizo sausage, cubed

• 15 oz can of cooked chickpeas

• 10 oz cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered

• 9 oz baby leaf spinach

•4 oz tomato passata

• TASTE #5 UMAMI PASTE™

• 1 lemon

• salt flakes and ground black pepper

Method: Heat oil in a tall saucepan and add garlic. When sizzling, add chorizo until sizzling too. Drain chick peas and add with tomatoes, a generous glug of passata, a generous squeeze of TASTE #5 UMAMI PASTE™ and the juice of a half a lemon. Season with salt and black pepper. When bubbling and chick peas are heated through add spinach and stir everything together until the spinach has wilted wilted. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a lemon wedge. Very quick and very impressive, this also makes an excellent main course dish with rice. Note: For something extra chopped scallops can be added at the same time as the chorizo.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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