Pasta with a delightful and comforting sauce made with soy granules and lots of vegetables.
This is the last recipe in this rather long series featuring food suitable for the fasting time. The actual fasting period goes on for further two weeks until Easter, but I think I was able to give you enough ideas for a few fasting time/ vegan meals. During the next couple of weeks I will focus on the Easter time itself and I hope I can inspire you to try some typical Romanian Easter recipes this year.
Like I have already mentioned a few weeks ago in the Vegan Soy Vegetable Stew, soy granules are quite a popular ingredient in Romania during the fasting times, a delicious and very cheap alternative to meat. There are lots and lots of recipes using textured soy, not only in the form of granules, but also as chunks to make stew or goulash or even in form of steaks. I have tried the steaks myself as well and I find them OK, but generally I prefer to cook the granules or the chunks with lots of veggies and sauce.
The idea for this recipe came to me one day when I wanted to make spaghetti Bolognese but did not want to go shopping for the ground meat. I remembered that I still had about half a bag of the soy granules in my pantry and thought I would give it a try. The result didn’t really have much in common with spaghetti Bolognese, but we found the vegan soy granules sauce delicious, the whole family was completely satisfied and the kids ate all the vegetables in the sauce without complaining one bit.
I call this a Romanian recipe because I have invented it and I am Romanian. 🙂 The use of soy sauce is definitely not Romanian style, but I did use it and it was perfect like that, so be sure to use it even if you think is not authentic.
Otherwise, I hope you are enjoying the first days of spring. The weather has been marvelous for the past few days here and that puts me in such a better mood than I had during the last few weeks when spring seemed to be so far away still… The drawback is that I would rather be outside, in the sun, than in the kitchen or in front of my laptop. I am already thinking about the flowers I want to plant this year and I cannot wait for the herbs in my herb patch to start growing again.
- 350 g/ 12.3 oz whole wheat spaghetti (or any other kind of pasta)
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz soy granules
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 red chili (mine was large but not very hot, you can make the sauce as hot as you like)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons water
- 1 large pinch dry thyme or a few sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 small bunch parsley
- salt and pepper
Place the soy granules in a small pot, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, set the water for the pasta and prepare the vegetables. Chop the onions finely. Mince the garlic and the chili and chop the carrot, pepper and zucchini into small cubes. When the pasta water starts to boil, add salt generously and the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions.
Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the vegetables until almost soft, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the water and stir well.
Drain the soy granules and add them to the pan together with the thyme. Stir well and continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.
Add the soy sauce, stir well and adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Chop the parsley and sprinkle it on top.
Serve with the pasta and some salad. If you are not eating vegan, you can sprinkle some Parmesan on top of your pasta dish.
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