Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Veggie Spaghetti

While some may turn their noses up at a spaghetti that doesn’t promise a rich crumble of savory sausage or red meat tossed and tumbled with a deeply stewed tomato sauce, this veggie variety is a satisfying, heart-healthy, 30-minute ticket to comfort.   Not that dizzy, lethargic, take-a-nap variety, but a feel-good, satisfying, robust veggie one; one that doesn’t leave you laden with indulgent guilt.

Think of it as a soft merino wool blanket that drapes lightly to ward off and soothe the chill and challenge of the day. It’s light, appealing, satisfying, warm, and welcoming.

This particular spaghetti looks to a little partnering of several veggies to create a “meaty” base to a quick sauce built with canned San Marzano tomatoes, red wine and veggie stock . There’s onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, and kale. Though this is what I had on had, I could easily see the addition of eggplant and/or artichokes. Or, if you happen to have some on hand, some leftover roasted tomatoes. There are so many options...

This one also happens to be gluten-free and dairy-free (assuming you refrain from the french baguette:). I use a little pad of vegan “butter” to silken the sauce, a veggie-based broth, and my favorite gluten-free spaghetti.

Served up warm, straight off the stove, it’s quick, healthy, "no-snooze" comfort in just 30 minutes.

Veggie Spaghetti (Gluten-Free & Dairy Free)
serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded carrot
1 ½ cups shredded zucchini
2 cups chopped green kale, loosely packed (center ribs removed)
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 ½  cups vegetable stock (I use Imagine No-Chicken Stock)
¼ cup red wine (something you’d drink)
1 15-ounce can San Marzano crushed tomatoes (more if you want it soupy)
2 tablespoons “vegan” butter (I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
9 to 12 ounces spaghetti (I used Bionaturae Gluten-Free Spaghetti)

Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion to skillet and sauté until just slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with garlic and mushrooms. Stir to combine and lightly coat with oil; then leave to brown for about 2 minutes; stirring only once or twice. Season mushroom mixture with salt and pepper; then add carrots and zucchini. Stir to combine; cook for about 2 minutes. Add kale and Italian seasoning. Cook for about 1 minute, until kale has wilted down. Add vegetable broth, wine, tomatoes, butter, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, for an al dente consistency. Add cooked and drained pasta to sauce and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately. 

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