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Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Carrot Tagliatelle

 

Carrot Tagliatelle

It occured to me recently that I’d never posted the recipe for the homemade tagliatelle I’d made to accompany the saged carrot pasta sauce.  Since Autumn in all its glory is on my mind these days, I figured this would be a good time to add the method for this wonderfully autumnal-hued pasta.    If you’d like to recreate the dish pictured above, just top this carrot tagliatelle with the velvety sauce found here.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup semolina flour

1/2 cup unbleached flour

1 tsp walnut oil

few tablespoons carrot juice

Directions:

Place dry ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add in oil and then add the carrot juice a tablespoon at a time while the machine is running until the dough pulls off the sides and forms a ball.  Move to a floured surface and knead a few times.  Shape into a flattened disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to relax for at least an hour before rolling.

Flour the dough and run it through a pasta machine at the highest setting a couple of times.  Progressively run it through higher settings until the thickness you wish is achieved.   Cut into long strips and lightly dust with semolina flour to prevent sticking.  Let pasta rest for 15 minutes or so before cooking.

Fresh pasta takes only a couple of minutes to cook.

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Garlicky Zucchini Noodles

These are, hands down, my new favorite food.  I eat them solo, as a base for pasta sauces and float them atop soups as a super flavorful garnish.  They are wonderful hot right out of the pan or cold the following day.  They are a great way to add more potassium-rich vegetables to your diet,  and if you’re looking for a pasta replacement, gluten-free or not, these lean green noodles are an awesome substitution. 

Garlicky Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients:

zucchini [For these noodles, I look for medium-sized, straight-necked zucchini.]

garlic, sliced thinly

olive oil

red pepper flakes

salt

Spiral slicer [preferred, I use a World Cuisine Tri-Blade Slicer] or vegetable peeler

Directions:

I’ve not given amounts of zucchini and garlic because it’s ultimately up to you to decide how garlicky you like your food.  I use one clove per two medium-sized zucchini.

Spiral slice or using a vegetable peeler, peel your squash making sure to turn it after each down stroke in order to keep the squash evenly peeled all around.  Once you hit the center and begin to see the seed bed, toss the core.  You do not want the seeds for these noodles.  Generously salt the noodles and set aside for 30 minutes in a colander.  Once the salt has pulled the water out of the noodles and wilted them, rinse them thoroughly under running water.  Squeeze the excess water from them and then pat them dry using paper towels or a clean dish towel. 

Pour a bit of olive oil into a pan and heat over a medium flame.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant but not browned.  Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Add the zucchini noodles and toss periodically for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and serve hot.

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There is a reason that street foods are eternal and craved relentlessly; they’re just damned good.  When you load your diet with legumes, you’re always after new ways to be creative with them.  In my opinion, the queen bean is without a doubt the garbanzo.  Call it ceci, chickpea or Bengal gram, it’s still the reigning sovereign of many vegan’s diets and a favorite of omnivores the world over. 

Here I celebrate and pay homage to panelle, a Sicilian street eat that is traditionally served as a simple sandwich filling on a bun.  One of the reasons that I love panelle so much is because, when pan-fried and warm,  it has that contrasting textural thing going on with the crispy edges and a velvety soft interior.  It is, hands down, a great sandwich.

Panelle [Chickpea Polenta]

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups garbanzo bean flour

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Olive oil

Directions:

Slowly add broth to the flour while whisking to avoid lumps.  Add in the oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring the entire time.   (It does not need to boil and shall spit molten chickpea lava at you if you do let it boil, so be careful.)  It is going to be very thick once finished but you want it to have that consistency because you want a substantial texture for a sandwich filling.

Transfer panelle to a non-stick pan and tamp down with a spatula. (I used a loaf pan sprayed with olive oil.)  Place into the refrigerator until chilled solid.  Invert onto a cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  You can either pan fry in oil (as is traditional) to crisp it up or do as I did and simply give a quick spray of olive oil to each slice and place in a pan until the sides are golden.

As always, my predilection for the savory-sweet combination shines through here.  I like to add a nice slather of apricot jam to my panelle sandwich, though it’s entirely up to you how you wish to assemble your own masterpiece.

 

[This slightly-modified post/recipe was originally published at VelvetPark last year.  I wanted it here, on my personal blog, because it is one of my favorites and I felt it was important to include it here in my collection/index.]

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This dish would make a beautifully elegant dinner for two served with a nice green salad and crusty bread.  There should be enough left over for a wonderfully quick and  delicious lunch the next day.

 

Roasted Tomato and Almond Pasta Sauce with Green Olives

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2lb Roma tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters

12 cloves garlic, divided [8 roasted, 4 raw]

⅓ cup almond meal [This is simply ground raw almonds]

½ cup green olives, sliced [I used some almond and garlic stuffed green almonds, but plain would be just fine]

¼ cup chopped parsley, for garnish

¼ cup sliced almonds,  for garnish

2 tsp  No Chicken Bouillon

2 T olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

1 lb pasta [I used Rigatoni]

Directions:

Roast tomatoes, onions and 8 cloves of garlic at 425°F until the edges have browned [~30 mins].   Add the raw garlic, bouillon, olive oil and almond meal.  Liquefy in a blender.  Transfer to a pot on the stove top over medium heat and stir in the sliced olives.  Bring to a low simmer and then reduce the heat.  Let it perk away while you are cooking the pasta. 

Once the pasta is done, taste the sauce for seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.  Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.   Garnish with sliced almonds, olives and parsley.

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For whatever reason, the health virtues of  rye have been popping up left and right in my reading material recently.  That prompted me to pick up some dark rye flour from Bob’s Red Mill the last time we were in Portland.  On the drive home I was contemplating how I could use the flour in a meal and I started thinking about what I used to love rye with.  The Reuben sandwich was the hands down winner.  So how could I transform this sandwich classic into an alternative meal?  With a smile on my face it occurred to me that I could make a dark rye pasta with caraway seeds…and the daydreaming just went on from there.

Russian Dressing Pasta Sauce

This is a wonderful sauce that can also be used as a salad dressing or sandwich spread when cooled.

Ingredients:

1 onion, medium dice

3 oz tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 package organic firm silken tofu

1 T vegan worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic paste

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil for sautéing the onions

Directions:

Sauté the onions in a small drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the tomato paste and spread onto the bottom of the pan to caramelize.  Add the stock and whisk gently until the tomato paste is incorporated into the sauce.  Add the worcestershire sauce and chili garlic paste.  Mix well.

In a food processor, pulse the tofu until creamed.  Add a ladleful of the tomato sauce to the food processor and pulse.  Transfer the contents to the pan on the stove containing the tomato sauce and mix until fully homogenous.  Simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dark Rye Pasta

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup dark rye flour [Organic Dark Rye Flour]

1 cup semolina flour

1 tsp caraway seeds

4 tsp olive oil

12-16 oz of water [more may be necessary depending upon the moisture level of your flours]

Directions:

Add the flours to a food processor.  Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse.  With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the water and continue to do so until the dough pulls off the sides and clings to the center “S”-blade.  Remove the dough from the processor and place upon a flour coated surface.  If the dough is too tacky then incorporate in more flour until it is no longer tacky to the touch.  Knead the dough a dozen times or so and then shape into a flattened round.  Wrap in plastic and set aside to rest for 15-30 minutes.

Remove plastic and divide into two.  Run through the largest setting on the pasta roller twice, then repeat two settings higher.  Either cut with the fettuccine attachment or by hand into strips.

When ready to cook, gently drop into salted boiling water and cook until the pasta comes to the surface.  This should take between one and two minutes.

Pastrami-Spiced Tempeh

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 – 8 oz package tempeh, cut in 1/2-inch strips

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp smoked salt [I used an applewood-smoked salt]

1 T  sweet paprika

1 tsp corriander seeds

1 tsp brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1-1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp white peppercorns

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp dill seed

3 allspice berries

2 juniper berries

Directions:

Grind the whole spices in a spice grinder and then add the rest of the spices and sugar to the grinder and pulse to mix well.  Transfer to a gallon-sized zip bag with 1/3 cup olive oil and mix well.

Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes to remove its bitterness.  Set aside to cool.   Once cooled, add to the spiced oil in the gallon bag and even coat each piece, gently.  If you need more volume to completely coat all the tempeh pieces, add more oil.  Refrigerate as long as possible up to a few days.  The longer the rub sits upon the tempeh, the deeper the flavors will penetrate.  Gently flip the bag every few hours or so in order to evenly marinate the tempeh.

Brush off any spice clumps that may have formed on the tempeh.  If you do not do this they shall burn in the grill pan.  Place the strips upon a heated grill pan and sear.  Crumble into bite-sized pieces.

 

To assemble the dish you shall need:

1/4 cup crisp sauerkraut per person [I used It's Alive's Raw Sauerkraut with Dill]

fresh dill, for garnish

caraway seeds, for garnish

2 sliced green onions, for garnish

Place the cooked pasta on a plate and top with a generous amount of Russian dressing pasta sauce.  Add a layer of tempeh pieces.  Sprinkle with some sauerkraut, caraway seeds, sliced green onion and  fresh dill.

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I wanted something that felt more “old school” for dinner the other night and the notion of spaghetti and meatballs fit the bill, albeit with some serious modifications.  After having decided to use tempeh as the bulk of the “meatball”, I next wanted to make sure that I packed them full of nutritional value and loaded them up with vegetables and a couple of fruits [tomatoes and raisins] to boot!  I also chose to oven-bake them rather than pan fry to keep them on the virtuous side of the dinner line.  These were awesome over quinoa pasta, but I can see them being great in a sandwich piled high with sautéed onions and peppers and dripping with marinara sauce as well!

 

Tempeh and Vegetable “Meatballs”

[Makes 8 nice-sized meatballs]

Ingredients:

8 oz package tempeh

4 roasted Roma tomatoes [could sub with 4 whole canned Roma tomatoes]

1 onion, finely diced [1 ¼ cup is what I ended up with]

¼ cup carrot, finely diced

½ cup kale, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

1 T ground flax seed

1 T raisins, minced

1 T fresh oregano, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

½ tsp red pepper flakes*

olive oil, for sautéing the vegetables

* [Optional if you want some extra heat]

Directions:

If roasting your own tomatoes, halve them and lightly spray with olive oil.  Place in a 400°F oven for an hour or until the tops have caramelized.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until softened.  Add in garlic, carrots, celery and kale.  Sauté until the vegetables have softened.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, add tempeh and roasted tomatoes.  Pulse a few times.  Add flax seed, raisins, oregano [both fresh and dried], salt and pepper.  Pulse until well combined but do not over process.  You want a crumbly texture, not a paste.

Transfer the tempeh mixture to a bowl and add in the bread crumbs, pine nuts and cooked vegetables.  Mix well and set aside to rest for 10 minutes in order to give the ground flax time to hydrate.  Roll into 8 meatballs.

Place in an oven-safe dish and lightly spray with olive oil.  Place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the outside of the meatballs have browned.

 

 

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This is a really quick and easy dinner recipe.  It’s great over a whole grain pasta [quinoa pasta pictured above] or over an Italian sausage style seitan dog in a hoagie bun.  I keep frozen seitan sausages on hand for those times when I just want to relax and not think about what’s for dinner; it’s a great time saver. 

Spicy Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

1-28 oz can crushed plum tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, sliced

4 green bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 T Creole/Cajun salt-free seasoning [Whichever you prefer, but salt-free is important otherwise it'll be too salty.]

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

fresh basil

Directions:

Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a pan and place over medium heat.  Sauté onion and bell pepper until softened.  Add in the garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes.  Add the tomatoes and Creole seasoning.  Cook for 15 minutes and then taste for salt, pepper and seasoning.  Adjust as necessary. 

Serve this over pasta with or without Italian-style seitan sausages.  Garnish with fresh basil.

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Tofu

Ingredients:

freshly-made tofu [My recipe and directions]

4 cups fresh basil, packed

¼ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil

1-2 T oil

zest of ½ lemon

3 garlic cloves

⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

After you have fresh tofu curds, transfer to a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow to drain and cool.  Once cooled, move to a large bowl. 

Add basil, sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, garlic and oil to a food processor and pulse until combined.  Add ½ of the pine nuts and pulse a few times.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pesto and remaining pine nuts to the bowl with the tofu curds and mix well yet gently.  Transfer to a tofu mold that has been lined with cheesecloth and press for an hour.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

To serve, dredge in seasoned brown rice flour [I added a little bit of garlic and onion powders as well as a bit of oregano and salt and pepper] and then into ground flax seed gel [1 T flax seed blended in ¼ cup water].  Finally, dredge in some seasoned panko bread crumbs.  Pan fry in some olive oil until all sides are golden brown.

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I’d made a batch of Gyros-style seitan and wanted to use it in some traditional Greek-style dishes.  This impulse just happened to coincide with the arrival of a sample of  Teese’s newly revamped stretchy mozzarella-style faux cheese.  So there you have it, Greek-style comfort food was on the menu.  It was absolutely carb coma-inducingly decadent and delicious.

 

Pastitsio

Ingredients:

½ onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

½ cup red wine

1 28 oz can crushed plum tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1 T dried oregano

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 cups ground Greek Gyros Seitan

4 oz Teese Mozzarella Cheese, medium dice

olive oil

1 lb tubular pasta

For the Béchamel:

4 T unbleached whole wheat flour

4 T olive oil

3 cups non-dairy milk [I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk]

¼ tsp Freshly-grated nutmeg

3 cloves garlic, smashed

4 oz Teese mozzarella cheese, grated

Directions:

Sauté onion in a drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and oregano and cook for a few minutes.  Add the tomato paste, stirring it about the pan to ensure that it’s being cooked.  [Canned tomato paste will taste tinny unless you first caramelize it a bit in the pan.]  Add the wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.  Add the tomatoes, water, cinnamon, clove and bay leaves.  Cook until the sauce is no longer watery.  Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

For the Pasta:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water about ¾ of the way through.  Drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking.  Set aside. [The pasta will continue to cook once placed in the oven.]

For the béchamel sauce:

Heat the non-dairy milk in a pan and add the crushed garlic and nutmeg to infuse it with their flavors.  In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and flour, whisking the entire time.  Cook for a few minutes to ensure the rawness of the flour has been cooked out and the roux is bubbly.  Carefully pour the heated milk into the roux while whisking.  Add the shredded Teese and bring the béchamel to a simmer to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pulling it all together:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix the tomato sauce with half of the pasta and the ground seitan.  Place into a greased casserole dish.  Randomly add pieces of the diced Teese throughout the layer, using a knife to plant them well into the pasta.  Top with the remainder of the pasta.  Pour the béchamel sauce over the entirety and place into the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.

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Barbecued Udon Noodles with Grilled Plum and Broccoli Stalks

I did not include amounts for the ingredients because it’s really up to your tastes and how much vegetable/noodle ratio you prefer.  These particular vegetables coupled with the grilled plums are fabulous for flavor, color and texture with the barbecue sauce.

Ingredients:

Udon noodles 

plums, cut into six wedges each

broccoli stalks, peeled and cut into planks

kale, cut into shreds

carrots, cut into oblong slices

celery stalk, cut into oblong slices

sesame seeds

canola oil

Asian-Style  Barbecue Sauce

Directions:

Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  If you have dry udon noodles then cook them, if you are using pre-cooked, then use the water to warm them.

Heat a grill pan on medium high and place the plum wedges and broccoli planks in the pan.  Cook on each side until you have caramelized grill marks.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Drizzle some canola in a large wok-style pan and turn heat on medium high.  Stir-fry up the carrots and celery and then add the kale.  Cook until softened but still vibrantly green.

Add barbecue sauce to the cooked and drained noodles and mix well.  Toss the noodles with the carrots, celery and kale.  Serve garnished with the grilled plums and broccoli stalks and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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