Monday, July 26, 2010

Jul 21nd - Gnocchi in Vegan Bolognese

[Jump to the present. More Galapagos memories to come.]
I know what your thinking.  It is July.  Why is she making a warm, heavy pasta for July.  Well, we just got back from a pretty long holiday which you will see me continue to write about.  There are several of our regular comfort foods that I had to do without.  A good hearty Vegetarian Bolognese is one of them.  I'll admit that while eating it, even in the cool Vancouver evening, I did rethink the plan.

1 packet 400 g Potato Gnocchi.  Yes we use either fresh from the Deli or vacuum packed.  We have made Gnocchi in the past and it is alot of work. I love Gnocchi and if I had to restrict my consumption of it to the days I actually made it, well, that would be sadness.

Vegan Bolognese is pretty easy.  You can mix up the veg you like in it but I like to try to keep certain flavours and textures in so that meat eaters do not feel deprived.  Key to the texture issue, aside from the Soy mince substitute, are Mushrooms.

Vegan Zucchini Bolognese

1 package Ives Italian Veggie Ground Round
1/2 medium or 3/4 c Onion, rough chopped
3 cloves Garlic
1/2 large or 1 c Zucchini, rough chopped, I sliced 1 cm which then I cut into fingers
8 Crimini / Brown Mushrooms, brushed and sliced
1/4 c Fresh Basil, chopped, chopped
1/2 T Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 t Fresh Oregano, chopped
1 T Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1 large tin Italian Roma Tomatoes, squashed
1 T Italian Tomatoe Paste
1/4 c Olive Oil
2 T Butter
1/4-1/2 c Red Wine (optional)
1/2 c Water (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large Skillet, heat 1 T of the Olive oil and 1 T Butter.  Add the Mushrooms.  Spread out as much as you can.  Do not touch for a good minute to allow browning.  If you move too soon, they'll just steam and get soggy.  Move around and then let sit for a minute. 

Add 1 T Olive Oil. Add the Onions and Zucchini.  Sautee for 2-3 minutes until the Onions are soft and slightly browned.  Add the Garlic and let cook for 1 minute.  Do not brown.  Just get the edge off.

Add the Red Wine and scrape the sugary goodness of the brown stuff  aka Fond that has accumulated on the pan.  Add the Soy Ground Round and break up.  You could add it before the Red Wine.  It is already cooked so it is not as important.  It will also absorb liquid. Add the Herbs.

Add the Tomato, Paste and Water.  Stir and reduce to a low simmer.  Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. 

Serve over Gnocchi with Fresh Parmesan.

We had an Artazuri Garnacha 2008.  It was nice with the food.  It is not a snuggle with a glass alone wine.

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