Posts

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Sauce

This inexpensive, oil-free and relatively simple pasta sauce is made of blended cauliflower, and when served with a pasta of your choice it’s filling but not heavy. It serves 4 people with 125g egg-free dried pasta per person, and vegetables of choice.

Ingredients

400g frozen cauliflower, steamed for 8 minutes or until warmed through and tender
2 tsp mixed Italian herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme)
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2/3 cup unsalted all-plant milk
1/3 cup cold vegetable broth
1 tsp yellow miso paste (if you can’t find this, try some suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard instead)
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp onion granules
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley to taste, minced

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients in a jug blender until smooth. Season to taste and blend again.
2. Add to cooked pasta and vegetables to heat through. Season to taste again, and stir the parsley through.

Fresh, handmade brown rice fettuccine with kale, red peppers, and raisins

A simple, gluten free pasta with good body and chew tossed in a light oil and garlic sauce with sauteed vegetables. This makes a reasonably sized serving for one; the recipe easily doubles.

Ingredients

For the noodles
1/2 cup scant brown rice flour
1/2 cup scant tapioca flour
2T masa harina (corn flour)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2T nutritional yeast
2 liters water with 1T coarse sea salt

For the sauce
1T olive oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 scallion (2″ green reserved for garnish)
1/2t dried basil, rubbed
1/2t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried thyme, rubbed
1T fresh garlic, minced
1 cup green kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup diced red pepper (about half a small red pepper)
1T sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (the dehydrated kind, not the kind packed in oil)
1T raisins
1/2T lenon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the garnish
2 heirloom grape tomatoes, thinly sliced
Scallion green as above, sliced on an angle

Directions

Mix the flours for the pasta with the course sea salt. Whisking as you pour, add the boiling water. Be careful; it will be quite hot, but keep mixing. This will result in a crumbly dough. That’s fine — it will continue to absorb flour.

Turn the dough out onto a cutting board, and as soon as its cool enough for you to do so, knead as you would a regular dough until all the flour is absorbed and you have a smooth, pliable dough. Let rest 2 minutes. Roll out on a floured board to 1/8″ thick, trying to make the dough rectangular as possible (about 12″ long).

In a large pot, bring the 2 liters water to a light simmer with the 1T coarse sea salt. Trim the ends of the dough and slice the noodles in 1/4″ wide, long rectangular strips. Use a pasta/pastry cutter for best effect.

When the noodles are cut, add them to the simmering water and cook lightly for about 2 minutes or until they start to float. Don’t overcook and don’t boil. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Let stand 15 minutes to cool and dry. Rinse with a little cold water every few minutes to avoid sticking while you make the sauce.

In a frying pan, bring the oil to heat with the sea salt on medium high. Add the scallion and herbs and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the kale, peppers, raisins and sun-dried tomatoes and saute for 5-7 minutes (until the kale has softened). When the pan starts to brown, deglaze with the lemon juice and remove from heat. Season to taste.

When the sauce is ready, rinse the pasta with hot water to warm and drain. Toss the pasta with 2T nutritional yeast. Plate and add the sauce. Toss the pasta gently with the sauce, add the sliced heirloom tomatoes and scallions. Season to taste and serve.

Hand-rolled, gluten free (oat) gemelli pasta in a roasted red pepper sauce

The combination of oat and tapioca make for a nice, chewy pasta, and the gemelli provide a lot of ridging to hold onto the rich sauce. The cremini mushrooms, artichokes, and spinach add flavour, colour and nutrition. The recipe easily doubles.

Ingredients

For the sauce
1 large red pepper
1 scallion, minced (reserve 2″ green for garnish)
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1/2t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried thyme, rubbed
4 medium cremini mushrooms (about 50g), coarsely sliced (about 1/4″)
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1T sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (the dehydrated kind, not the kind packed in oil)
1T nutritional yeast
1/2 cup spinach, coarsely chopped (reserve a few tablespoons for garnish)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the noodles
1/2 cup scant gluten free oat flour*
1/2 cup scant tapioca flour
1T masa harina (corn flour)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup boiling water

Instructions

Start the sauce, then the make pasta. Preheat the oven to 450F (or use the traditional charring method if you have a gas stove). Lightly oil and roast the red pepper and roast until the skin is nicely charred. Remove from the oven and let cool. While the red pepper roast,

start the pasta. Mix the flours for the pasta with the course sea salt. Whisking as you pour, add the boiling water. Be careful; it will be quite hot, but keep mixing. This will result in a crumbly dough. That’s fine — it will continue to absorb flour.

Turn the dough out onto a cutting board, and as soon as its cool enough for you to do so, knead as you would a regular dough until all the flour is absorbed and you have a smooth, pliable dough. Let rest 2 minutes. Roll out on a floured board until in a rectangle until the dough is 1/8″. Slice width-wise in 1/4″ lines. These can be a little larger and thicker than wheat gemelli. They won’t plump as much while cooking.

Roll the pasta on the board (or between your palms), loop in half (end to end), close the ends with a pinch, and then twist by rolling the folded pasta away from you with the right hand and toward you with the left. Be careful, oat flour makes for a more delicate dough. Repeat until all the dough has been rolled. Keep your dough under a warm we cloth while you work if you find it starts to dry out. Once the noodles are rolled, let them stand about 10 minutes to dry.

In a large pan, bring the water and sea salt to a light simmer. Then slice the strands in 1 1/2″ slices to make the gemelli. Add the gemelli to the water and stir lightly.
Simmer the pasta for 2-3 minutes or until the gemelli are floating. Don’t boil and don’t overcook. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Let stand 20 minutes to cool and dry. Rinse with a little cold water every few minutes to avoid sticking while you make the sauce.

In a frying pan with a lid, bring the oil to heat with the sea salt on medium high. Add the scallion and herbs and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Saute for 5-7 minutes until the pan starts to brown. While the mushrooms saute, peel, core, seed, and chop the red pepper. Puree it with the sun-dried tomato. When the pan starts to brown, add the pureed red pepper and deglaze the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 10 minutes.

When the sauce is ready, rinse the pasta with warm water to warm and drain. Add the pasta to the sauce. Add the nutritional yeast and chopped spinach, reserving a few tablespoons for garnish. Stir gently to coat the pasta in the sauce. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes to let the spinach wilt. Season to taste. Plate and garnish with spinach and scallion greens sliced on a diagonal, and serve.

*Oats are naturally gluten free, but there can be issues of cross-contamination during production with flours that contain gluten.

Sweet, spicy tempeh stuffed agnolotti pasta with kale, kalamata olives, garlic and avocado oil

A relatively straightforward, sturdy and richly flavoured stuffed pasta dish. This is an ‘al plin’ variation for agnolotti. The recipe makes an appetizer portion for 4 or a filling bowl or 2.

Ingredients

For the pasta dough
1 cup semolina flour
1t tapioca starch
A pinch baking powder
1/3 cup heaping warm (but not hot) water

For the filling
1/4 cup water
1T sun-dried tomatoes, minced (dehydrated, not jarred)
1t dried herbs de Provence, rubbed
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced
125g tempeh (use pasteurized)
1/4 cup soft, dried dates, pitted and minced (I use medjool)
1t sriracha (or similar and/or to taste)
1t balsamic vinegar
2T bread crumbs
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the sauce
2T avocado oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1T kalamata olives
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Replace the water for the filling with vegetable stock if you prefer. If you prefer, saute the kale without the oil, but in that case, I would recommend 2 tablespoons of olives for a little extra flavour. Add a tablespoon avocado oil to the filling for a richer taste and mouth feel. Garnish with some sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, or capers for additional flavour and nutrition, but keep it simple. Agnolotti are a fairly sturdy pasta — so, heavier sauces will also work but traditionally, the flavour goes into the filling.

Method

Start the filling, then the pasta, then the sauce.

In a large frying pan with a lid, bring the water to a light boil. Add all of the ingredients up to and including the sriracha. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed, stirring periodically.

While the filling simmers, mix the dry ingredients for the pasta dough. Add the water. Mix, then knead until a solid dough forms, and then another minute or so. Let rest about 10 minutes covered in the bowl with a warm, wet tea towl.

At the 15 minute mark, uncover, increase heat to medium and saute for another 5 – 10 minutes until the pan is starting to brown. Add vinegar and deglaze the pan. Add the bread crumbs and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine and set aside to cool while you roll out the pasta.

Break the pasta into 2 – 3 pieces. Keep the dough you’re not using moist with the tea towel. Roll the dough out to about 3″ x 14″ strips, about 1/8″ thick. Fill the sheet width-wise in a solid line, about 1″ in diameter, about 1 1/2″ down from the top. Leave 1 1/2″ from the left side and 1 1/2″ on the right unfilled.

Carefully fold the top of the pasta toward you just over the filling, leaving about 1/2″ or so of dough at the bottom. Press the top of the dough into bottom of the dough with the flat of your index fingers to form a consistent seal. Pinch the unfilled left and right sides.

You’ll now have a long tube of filled dough. Using your index fingers and your thumbs, pinch the agnolotti in (6) 1″ pieces vertically, creating about 1 1/2″ inch of dough in between each agnolloti. Pinch firmly. The pinch, the small amount of filling and the dough, along with the cut is what seals the pasta.

Trim the three sides of folded dough with a pasta cutter. Separate each agnolotti with the pastry cutter with a cut through the pressed dough in between each. With your thumbs and index fingers carefully press the pinched pieces of dough down at the sides (completing the fold).

Let the agnolotti dry a few minutes while you bring the water to a boil. I use the saute pan to boil my agnolotti so that the pasta picks up some of the flavour from the filling, but use a fresh pan if you prefer.

When the water has reached a light boil, add the pasta, swirl the pan, and simmer gently for about 3 – 5 minutes. The agnolotti will float when done. Don’t overcook.

Drain carefully, reserving 2T pasta water in the frying pan. Return the frying pan to heat on medium high. Add the kale and remaining ingredients. Stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes or until the kale is lightly wilted and a vibrant green. Rinse the agnolotti with warm water and add to the pan, stirring gently to pick up the sauce.

Remove from heat, bowl out, garnish and serve.

Black lentil mezzaluna in a sesame white sauce with oyster mushrooms and kale

Similar to pierogi, mezzaluna are a lovely and decorative pasta, filled here with a lightly spicy combination of black beluga lentils, poblano peppers and Brussels sprouts, served in and a rich sauce of white miso, sesame seed butter and oyster mushrooms. This makes an appetizer portion for 4 or large plate for 2.

Ingredients

For the filling
1/4 cups black lentils
2/3 cups water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1/2″)
1T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 scallion, minced (3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup poblano pepper, chopped finely
2 Brussels sprouts (about 1/4 cup scant), minced (or green cabbage)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the dough
1 cup semolina flour
A pinch sea salt
1/3 cup water
1t olive oil
2 liters water and 2t coarse sea salt for boiling
For the sauce
1T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2t dried basil, rubbed
1/4t dried oregano, rubbed
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup oyster mushroom, wiped and finely chopped
1/2T lemon juice
1 cup unsweetened plant milk
1T sesame seed butter (I use a fairly traded brand)
1 cup green curly kale, finely chopped
1T arrowroot flour dissolved in 1T cold water
1/2T white miso
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Replace the Brussel sprouts with sun-dried tomatoes for something slightly more flavourful.

Method

Start the filling first, then the pasta, then the sauce. In a small pan with a lid, bring the water to a boil. Add the lentils. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender. When the lentils are done, remove the kombu, rinse the lentils and set aside.

While the lentils simmer, make the pasta dough. Mix the flour and salt. Mix the water and oil. Mix the wet and the dry. The dough may seem too dry initially. Keep mixing, and then knead until as a smooth elastic dough forms, and then another 2-3 minutes. Cover with a warm wet tea towel and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

When the lentils are ready, in a medium frying pan, bring the oil to eat on medium high. Add the cooking oil and sea salt. Add the scallion. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the pepper and Brussels sprouts and saute for 5 minutes. Add the lentils and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Set aside covered to cool.

Roll out the dough on a floured board in a large rectangle about 1/10″ thin. Cut small circles about 2 1/2″ round. Bunch up leftover dough, roll out and cut. Repeat until all of the dough has been used. Aim for 16 circles.

When the dough has been cut, add a heaping tablespoon of filling to each in an oblong shape in the middle. Carefully pinch closed, starting with the top, one side, and then the other. Squeeze out any excess air. Crimp both sides of the seam with a fork. Let sit to dry lightly while you make the sauce.

In a large pan with a lid, bring the cooking oil and sea salt to heat with the sea salt on medium high. Add the green herbs and saute for 1 minute. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the oyster mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan. Add the soy milk. Bring the pan to a light simmer. Add the sesame seed butter and stir to dissolve. Simmer lightly, stirring occasionally while you finish the pasta.

In a large pot, bring the 2 liters water to a boil with the sea salt. Add the mezzaluna carefully to the water and boil lightly until they float (should be 3-5 minutes). They’ll float when done. Don’t overcook. Drain them carefully in a colander, reserving 2T of the pasta water. Rinse the pasta gently with cool water.

Add the pasta water and the kale to the sauce and stir to combine. Simmer another 2 minutes. Stirring continuously, add the arrowroot mixture until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the white miso and stir until dissolved. Rinse the mezzaluna with hot water, drain and add them to the sauce. Stir gently to coat. Let stand 2-3 minutes to cool. Season to taste.

When lightly cooled, plate the mezzaluna and pour sauce over them. Add the scallion greens sliced on an angle. Dust with nutritional yeast, and serve.