Thursday, July 7, 2011

Early Summer Pasta with Red & Green Sauce

Plated Miracle Noodles with Red and Green Sauce
Chunky Red & Green Sauce on Miracle Noodles

Recipe by Robin

In the spring, when our CSA farm share was full of green garlic and several kinds of onions, I created a recipe for Pasta with Onion-Garlic Red Sauce and Veggie Crumbles. It was one of my more popular blog posts. Seasons change and summer  has its own bounty, and I found myself short of onions when making this dish today.  So I added a bunch of chopped spinach to make an early summer variation, and substituted fresh herbs from the garden for the dried herbs.

As noted before, the MorningStar Farms “Meal Starter Recipe Crumbles” are largely textured vegetable protein (TVP), a combination of soy protein and wheat gluten. They also contain small amounts of egg whites and skim milk, so they’re not vegan. MorningStar makes only vegetarian meat substitutes. Even though they’re a subsidiary of Kellogg’s, a major corporation, the products contain no preservatives and the ingredient list looks like real food. Kudos, Kelloggs.

My husband and I, both for health reasons and to conserve environmental resources, are on a mission to reduce meat consumption. Even though we’re not vegetarians, we’re always on the lookout for veggie-based proteins, and recommend the taste and texture of the Crumbles to meat-eaters who want to get healthier. One package of Crumbles in this recipe will give you the same amount of pasta sauce as 1 lb. ground meat.

Feel free to play around with the quantities and herbs in this recipe. If you discover something really tasty, please post it!

Early Summer Pasta with Red & Green Sauce
serves 6 - 8

3 stalks semi-dry green garlic (with large bulbs and no green tops)
2 medium spring onions (no green tops)
1 bunch large scallions (with large bulbs, about 3)
1 large bunch of spinach
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 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
½ tsp. salt or to taste
a few grinds of pepper
Fettucini Miracle Noodles or wholegrain pasta

Electric Frying Pan with Onions, Garlic, Crumbles, and Just-Wilted Lettuce
Cook Spinach Until Just Wilted
Wash, trim, and peel garlic and spring onions as necessary. 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. Chop bulbs and cut greens into ½” lengths.

Wash spinach and trim off roots and tough stems. Chop leaves and tender stems.

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.

Red and Green Sauce Simmering in Electric Frying Pan
Electric Frying Pan = Good Place to Cook Sauce
Heat olive oil, add spring onions and sauté 2 minutes, add scallions and garlic, and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring around frequently. Add veggie crumbles and sauté with onion mixture about 4 minutes, stirring frequently to blend flavors. Add chopped spinach and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Add both cans of crushed tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir around, heat up, and simmer 5 minutes or more. Stir in finely chopped oregano and basil about 2 minutes before serving.

Serve over pasta, or on wholegrain burger buns for “Sloppy Fauxs” (like Sloppy Joes but vegetarian!).

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