Category Archives: Italian

Spaghetti Bolognese

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2 tbsp oil
1 large yellow onion, diced

3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c dry white wine, sake or vodka
2 can crushed or diced fire roasted tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 tbsp dried basil 
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 package of Trader Joe’s meatless ground beef

Heat the oil and margarine in the same pan, on medium, while you prepare the onions and garlic. Toss them in the pan and saute till translucent and soft. Deglaze the pan with the wine/alcohol then add both cans of tomatoes, as well as the basil and oregano. Add salt and pepper now and season again at the end after tasting. Reduce heat to med-low and leave uncovered – but I recommend a splatter-guard. Simmer for about 30 mins.

Add meatless meat to the pan (crumbled first) and let simmer for for about 8 minutes. Serve over spaghetti with lots of rice-based fake parmesan.

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Basic Alfredo Sauce

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This is a Chloe Coscarelli recipe, via Your Vegan Mom, and is a great staple sauce. I initially planned to make exactly to the recipe, but realized at the last minute I had no miso on hand. So instead I subbed in 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, a splash of Braggs’, and I used white pepper instead of black. It tasted rich and comforting.

One note – don’t add the sauce to the pasta till ready to serve, as the pasta will absorb it really quickly and you’ll have gluey mess on your hands.

Kale and Sausage in a Creamy Lemon Sauce

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A veganized version of this.

Serves 4

1/4 c oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes to taste

Heat the oil in pan, add the above and cook till golden, stirring every few minutes (about 10 mins).

4 Field Roast italian sausages, diced or crumbled
1 bunch of kale, washed in salted water, rinsed, drained, torn into pieces

Add the sausage and fry till golden (about 5 mins), then add the kale and cook down for a few minutes.

2.5 c cashew cream
1 tsp fake chicken boullion 
ground nutmeg to taste (about 1/4 tsp at least)
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 c vegan parmesan (nutritional yeast would probably do)
salt and pepper

Add the cashew cream, boullion, nutmeg, parmesan. Mix well and add the lemon gradually, tasting as you go. Season and serve over pasta.

Risotto with Summer Squash and Petite Peas

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I found this recipe over at Vegenista, and only slightly adapted it by adding twice as many veggies. It’s quite simple and not as rich as other risottos I’ve made, but I sort of liked that. You could always glam it up a bit with lots of vegan cheese.

Serves 4 people.

2 tbsp canola oil
1 large vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 c arborio rice
1/4 c dry sake (or any dry white wine)
3-4 c vegetable broth (I used half stock, half broth)
3-4 yellow summer squash
1 cup frozen petite peas
a handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 tbsp Earth Balance or other margarine
smoked salt
freshly cracked pepper

Place a large stock pot or deep chef’s pan over medium heat while you prepare your onion and garlic. Add the oil, let it heat up for 30 seconds and then toss in the onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the sake and stir till absorbed. Start ladling in the broth, adding about 1/2 cup at a time, waiting till it is absorbed and then adding another 1/2 cup. Continue doing this for about 15 mins, then add the vegetables. Continue adding in the broth, remembering to stir the risotto frequently. You do have to stand over the pot, you can’t leave a risotto on its own. After another 5 mins, the rice should be tender. Take off the heat and stir in the margarine and basil. Season to taste with the lemon juice/zest, salt and pepper.

Pasta-less Lasagne

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From Cucina Libera, this veggie lasagne is healthy AND tasty. Next time I’ll make a few modifications – I’ll double the pesto and add a little milk to the ricotta so it’s not so thick, and add more veggies.

This makes about 4 very generous servings.

2 large eggplants
salt

Peel the eggplant and cut it into 1/8″ rounds or lengthwise – this is going to act as the “pasta”. Sprinkle liberally with salt and set aside in a colander to leech out the liquid. 

16 oz mushrooms (I used shiitake, but any would suffice)
1 tbsp oil
oil

Heat a frying pan on medium, slice the mushrooms and add to the pan with the oil and a pinch of salt. Fry, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has released. Set aside.

3 x 15 oz cans of butter/great northern/cannellini beans (any combination)
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
a handful of parsley
1 tbsp of umeboshi paste (optional)

Rinse the beans well and drain. Add to your food processor, along with the yeast, parsley and umeboshi. Process till smooth. Set aside

1/2 c pumpkin seeds
1/4 c olive oil
1 bunch of basil
1 clove garlic
salt

Add the seeds, basil and garlic to your food processor and blend till finely chopped. With the food processor still running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Season with salt. Set aside.

2 jars of marinara sauce
1 package of Daiya mozzarella shreds

Now to make the lasagne! Heat your oven to 350 F.

– add a few spoonfuls of marinara to the bottom of a big lasagne dish or casserole dish, or you could do individual mini casseroles; this is just to stop the lasagne sticking, so it should be a very thin layer
– make a layer of eggplant
– add dollops of the bean ricotta
– add spoonfuls of pesto and then swirl the ricotta/pesto with the back of a spoon, try to smooth it out as much as you can
– add a layer of mushrooms
– add a layer of cheese
– add a layer of marinara
– repeat till everything is used up
– I added a layer of crushed Trader Joe’s meatless meatballs before the final layer of marinara
– finally, top with a layer of cheese

Cover with foil and bake for 50 mins, till eggplant is cooked through. Let it rest about 15 mins before serving.

Smokey Vegan Alfredo

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This is hands-down one of my favourite meals: it’s super creamy, not totally bad for you (probably half the calories of any alfredo you’d get at a restaurant) and very very easy to make. Meet The Shannons do incredible comfort food, and this is another recipe I have them to thank for!

1 tbsp Earth Balance
1 large shallot, finely diced or minced
1 tbsp flour
1 c soy milk/almond milk

Melt the marg in a medium saucepan on medium heat, then add the diced shallot and sautee for a few minutes, until the shallot is very soft. Whisk in the flour really well, then SLOWLY pour in the milk, continuously stirring. Bring to a boil and then add:

1/2 c vegan sour cream
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c of vegan parmesan
1/4 c of nutritional yeast

Whisk until smooth and then add:

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp white wine
a couple of dashes of liquid smoke, to taste

Whisk well, and check for taste – add more salt, milk, pepper to your liking.

This makes about 4 servings of sauce: serve over linguine or fettuccine with veges and vegan chicken strips.

Confit Byaldi or Ratatouille

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This is so incredibly good served over fettuccine – the original recipe can be found here – and I have to be honest and say I generally don’t like zucchini-heavy dishes, or cooked tomatoes. It’s kind of time-consuming to make, because there is a lot of chopping involved, and a lot of cooking time, but it’s worth it!

serves about 3-4, depending on how piggy you are (I am piggy).

3-4 mixed bell peppers

Halve the peppers, deseed, place on foil-lined sheet and bake at 450 F for about 20 mins, until the skin sort of bubbles and can be removed easily. Let the peppers cool a little and the peel them. Dice pretty fine and set aside.

2-4 zucchini, summer squash, whatever mix you like
3-4 vine-ripened tomatoes

Slice the veggies into thin disks – about 1/16th of an inch. I have a mandolin so this is no problem for me, but if you’re using a knife and aren’t a pro chef, slicing it thicker is fine, just keep the pieces consistent. Place the squash/zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss (this will let some of moisture out). Set veggies aside.

1 large yellow onion
2 tbsp oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig of thyme

Finely dice the onion and saute with the oil and garlic for about 10 mins on med-low heat till soft, but not browned. Add the  tomato and herbs, continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 15 mins). Add the diced peppers, cook another couple minutes, season liberally with salt and pepper and removed the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Keep 2 tbsp of this mixture aside for the vinaigrette. Heat your oven to 275 F. Spread the mixture into a baking dish, skillet or other suitable oven-proof thing. A skillet is best, because if you need to pop it on the stove to quickly reduce the liquid, you can. On top of the mixture (“piperade” is the proper term), make a pretty overlapping pattern of squash and tomato. Don’t worry if you have a lot of leftover veggies – you can just pile them up.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp thyme leaves (fresh)

Mix together and sprinkle over your dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 2 hours. Remove foil and bake another 30 mins. If there is still a lot of liquid in the dish, you can put it on the stove and bake it off (if you’re serving this with pasta, I personally don’t think it’s a problem having a bit of extra liquid – it still tastes amazing). This dish is a good make-ahead, too: to reheat, place it under the broiler on low and cook till browned. Serve with the following vinaigrette:

Reserved piperade
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.

I have a photo around somewhere – will post eventually! I’m thinking about adapting this recipe to suit a crockpot – could be disastrous, could be awesome, we’ll find out tonight.

Here’s a rough nutritional breakdown (not accurate because the amounts I use for veggies and stuff is always slightly different, and I used pureed tomato this time. Also, this includes a 4 oz serving of pasta per person).