Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pasta Salad

You know it! I am a big fan of pasta. So last weekend I set out to discover the best pasta salad I could create, by mixing and matching my Italian heritage with a few recipes I found on the internet.  The best tip? Add at least three different vegetables to the pasta.

Pasta of your choice, I like rotini, boiled and buttered/salted.  Broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, one can of cut tomatoes.

Early in the morning boil the carrots with a vegetable stock cube and steam the broccoli with olive oil and salt on top of it so they are ready.

When they are ready, saute the onions and garlic on olive oil, add the tomatoes, the can of cut tomatoes, and let it steam for a little bit.  Add a spoonful of sugar, salt and spices.

Add the veggies and the pasta. Mix and voila!

Delicious Vegetarian Meat Mashed Lasagna

Why mashed lasagna? well, it you ever cooked a lasagna you know how time consuming it is, separating the sheets of pasta, ensuring they are properly boiled, not breaking them as you take them out, avoiding getting burned as you manipulate them.  Too much work!
Delicious texture

So yes, you heard that right 'mashed' lasagna, with vegetarian meat substitute, it can be done I decided it could, and I even gave it a name, why not?

Here is the recipe that serves three hungry yogis:

Ingredients (including the secret one)
Half a box of rotini pasta (I prefer the colored ones). One box of Smart Ground meat substitute. One jar of Basil Tomato Sauce by Newman. Onions, garlic and ginger, quarter cup of Mazola vegetable oil, oregano, rosemary, basil (either fresh or powder), pepper and salt to taste, one cube of vegetable stock (I use the vegan version from the health food store when possible or Knor). Cherry tomatoes cut in halves, one box.  Parmesan cheese up to you, if you like it! and finally the secret ingredient: one spoon of sugar.
Works pretty good for this dish

  1. In a hot non stick pan pour oil and chopped onions, wait a little till they brown and add the chopped garlic and chopped ginger.  I like to use quite a bit of ginger (about two spoon fulls)
  2. In a separate pot bring water to boil and put the pasta which will be done in about 9 minutes.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters.
  4. Back to the original non stick pan, when the onions are transparent and the power of the garlic not so strong, add the Smart Ground or other meat substitute.  If it was frozen you may need to keep it in the fire for a little while till it is no longer frozen and it looks like smashed meat rather than chunks of frozen meat. Add the cherry tomatoes. Lower the heat!
  5. Add the Newman sauce and spread the spoon full of sugar (secret ingredient) all over. Add also the vegetable stock cube
  6. Add spices, basil, oregano, rosemary, pepper salt.  Taste a little to see if it is coming along nice.
  7. Take the pasta out and run it through a percolator, add olive oil to it and mix it all in.
  8. Poor the pasta into the mix.
  9. Let it sit at simmer fire for about 5 minutes
  10. Let it cool down for 5 minutes and serve
OK, in a traditional lasagna there is oven involved, and some cheese or tofu, I prefer it without those ingredients and it feels fresher to me when it does not go in the oven.  

The texture is mouth watering sweet yet savory (with the cherry tomatoes), meaty yet soft (as you combine the soy meat and the pasta) and delish overall...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Traditional Veggie Lasagna

That came out delish!

Got the  recipe by combining from a few sites on the internet.

1 big eggplant cut in small (1/4 inch squares)
1 red 1 green pepper cut small
1 container of mashrooms cut small
2 zuccinis cut small
Oilive oil
spices to taste
1/2 package of tofu
1 of those cubes of veggie stocking - the secret ;-)
2 eggs
1 container of fresh pasta for lasagna
Fresh basil
One can of pasta sauce

  1. Bake all the veggies at 400 for 30 minutes - make sure they are cut small.  I painted them with crushed garlic marinated in olive oil before I put them in the oven
  2. Remove the zuccini and mashrooms keep baking the rest of the veggies 15 more minutes
  3. Meanwhile... put the water to boil and when ready prepare the pasta for the lasgna
  4. saute the onions in oil or butter till brown then spice to taste add pasta sauce and add the veggie stock cube, once boiling lower the fire and let it be there for a while, add spices you like, I use oregano, basil, rosemary, fresh parsely etc.  Salt and pepper too.
  5. Mix the tofu (not a lot, I did it with half of one of those squares they serve, next time I will use a quarter) and eggs.
  6. Cut the basil finely
  7. When all is ready...
  8. Put in a pre oiled container a bit of pasta sauce, then one layer of lasagna pasta, overlay the pasta so that it really covers every peace
  9. Add one half of the veggies and one half of the eggs and tofu, top with chopped basil
  10. a little more sauce
  11. Another layer
  12. finish the top with sauce
  13. Bake for 40 or 50 minutes at 350
It is a bit of work but oh so worth it!



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