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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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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’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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Borscht Noodle Soup

We picked up some gigantic organic beets the other week while  at the Co-op.   I wanted to put a new spin on a traditional dish and decided that the main beet element of this “borscht” would be a beet root pasta.  It turned out to be a really nice meal though there may be a Russian grandmother out there smacking a computer monitor with a wooden spoon while shouting:  “Nyet, nyet nyet!”

Borscht Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

one recipe Beet Root Pasta

1 leek, sliced thinly

1 T olive oil

2 carrots, sliced into oblong coins

4 cups red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

½ head napa cabbage cut into ¼ inch slices [or any other green you prefer, kale would be nice]

1 large beet, cut into medium dice

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped plus an extra frond for garnishing

2 quarts faux chicken broth

red wine vinegar

vegan sour cream or non-dairy yogurt, for garnish

Dill seeds, for garnish

Directions:

Place diced beets into 2 cups faux chicken broth and simmer until fork-tender.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Cover the beets with red wine vinegar and set aside.

Sauté the leek in a stock pot until softened.  Add carrots and potatoes and continue to sauté for a few minutes longer.  Add broth and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Add cabbage and fresh dill. 

Toss the pasta into boiling water and cook until it floats.  This should take about 2-3 minutes.  Plate the soup in a bowl and add a generous serving of fresh pasta and a few spoonfuls of the vinegar-marinated beets.  Garnish with vegan sour cream, dill seeds and dill fronds.

 

Beet Root Pasta

Ingredients:

½ cup semolina flour

½ cup unbleached white flour

1 tsp walnut oil

¼ cup beet juice

Water

Directions:

[The volume of liquid required to make a smooth and silky pasta dough will vary according to the moisture level and measurement of your flour.  Bearing this in mind, you may or may not need to augment the beet juice with some additional water.]

Place flours and oil into a food processor.  Slowly drizzle the beet juice into the flour with the processor running.  Once the dough pulls off the sides and forms a ball against the center rotor the dough is ready.  Remove the dough and knead a few times.  Form it into a flattened disk and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.  You can make this the day ahead and refrigerate.

Once it has rested, run the dough through a pasta machine [I use a hand-cranked model that I picked up for $25.  It was well worth the investment] and lay it upon a clean surface to dry out a little bit.  Cut into linguine-style noodles.  Toss loosely with extra semolina flour so that as it dries further, it will not stick together. 

Cook in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes until it is cooked through.

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