Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pasta with Onion-Garlic Red Sauce and Veggie Crumbles

Finished Red and Green Pasta Dish
Green Onions and Garlic Make Festive Pasta

Recipe by Robin

In our quest for tasty meat substitutes, my husband bought some MorningStar Farms Meal Starter Recipe Crumbles. We thought we’d experiment with this ground meat substitute in our vegetarian pasta sauce. The texture and taste were excellent. Main “crumble” ingredient is textured vegetable protein (TVP), a combination of soy protein and wheat gluten. Minor ingredients include egg whites and skim milk (plus plenty of spices), so this is not a vegan option.

MorningStar makes only vegetarian meat substitutes. I have also had their BBQ riblets, which IMO taste better than BBQ animal ribs. Morningstar is owned by Kelloggs Corporation, so as a locavore I plan to use its products lightly. Still, it is heartening to see a major corporation manufacturing a variety of vegetarian no-preservative meat options.

I invented this recipe to use two types of onions plus green garlic. You could substitute dry onions and garlic, but it looks much more festive with the green parts. So if your onions and garlic don’t have green parts, throw in a little chopped bell pepper. The slightly bitter taste is similar in character to the onion and garlic greens. This recipe makes about as much sauce as what you’d get if you used 1 lb. ground meat. Like all tomato sauces, it tastes even better on the days after making it.

Green and White Onions and Garlic in the Frying Pan
Green Garlic & Two Kinds of Onions
Pasta with Onion-Garlic Red Sauce and Veggie Crumbles
serves 6 - 8

1 bunch green garlic
1 bunch (3 – 4) spring onions
1 large bunch bunching onions (scallions)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 package MorningStar Farms “Meal Starters Recipe Crumbles”
1 large can (1 lb. 2 oz.) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 small can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dry mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp. dry oregano
½ tsp. salt or to taste
a few grinds of pepper
Fettucini Miracle Noodles or wholegrain pasta

Wash and trim garlic and spring onions. Discard tough, wilted, or yellowed green parts. Slice the green parts that look good along with the white parts of both onion and garlic.

Wash and trim scallions. Cut into ½” lengths, using all of white and green.

Boil water for pasta. Cook pasta according to directions. If using Miracle Noodles, they only take about 5 minutes total, so wait till sauce is almost cooked to add them to the boiling water.

Heat olive oil, add spring onions and saute 2 minutes, add scallions and garlic, and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring around frequently. Add veggie crumbles, oregano, and mixed Italian herbs, and sauté with onion mixture about 4 minutes, stirring frequently to blend flavors. Add both cans of crushed tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir around, heat up, and simmer 5 minutes or more.

Serve over pasta, or on bread for Sloppy Joes.


  1. Thanks for the recipe!!! Love it

    btw, bird nest (http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm) is made up of about 58% soluable proteins...the highest amoung all food and
    even synetic protein powders

    it greatly increase tissue regeneration.

  2. Thanks for the bird nest idea, Teresa! Do you have a favorite bird nest recipe to share? Locals can probably find this in Asian markets, or San Francisco's Chinatown.