Tempeh Bolognese

I was in the mood for tempeh, but didn’t want to spent a long time cooking. I found this tempeh bolognese recipe and was intrigued. I’d never tried making a vegetarian bolognese recipe, but I liked the idea of a filling sauce that didn’t require anything extra to be a full meal. I made it with dried shitake mushrooms and fresh wild stump puffballs I picked from my backyard.

I served the sauce over spaghetti squash and was surprised by how much I enjoyed the dish. The tempeh flavor was definitely present, but I didn’t mind it. The texture was very good and the dish was flavorful and filling, while only requiring 1 pot and 30 minutes to make.

I ended up needing to add extra tomatoes to make the dish saucy enough. It calls for 28 ounces of canned tomatoes, but I used a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes, which might have been why I needed extra. Also, I ran out of sauce before I finished the whole spaghetti squash. Next time I’d 1.5x the recipe.

In my book this was a winner. I’m going to keep it in my repertoire for nights when I need to make something filling and satisfying without much time or work.

Fettuccine al Limone with Asparagus

I was looking for a very decadent pasta recipe to break Passover with. Bonus points if I could use my asparagus from the garden. This recipe ticked both boxes. I love a lemony pasta, so this sounded really good. I used a fancy fettuccine instead of spaghetti because I don’t really like spaghetti.

So…when you say you want something decedent…be careful what you wish for. This recipe calls for 2/3 cup (2/3 cup!!!!???) of olive oil. I cut the olive oil down to 1/2 cup, but it was still an absurd amount of olive oil. I think 1/3 cup would have been fine. That said, the recipe was very yummy and a great indulgent way to use garden asparagus and bask in post-Passover carbs. Still, I don’t think it’s likely I’ll make it again. Just can’t stand to use that much olive oil.

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spaghetti-al-limone-with-asparagus

Ciambotta

Like many of the cookbooks in my house, I acquired Nonna’s Italian Kitchen from the discard shelf of one of my family members. I brought it home to try out the vegan cheese recipes, but hadn’t gotten it together to make them. I was looking for a novel recipe to use up some late summer veggies, and found this recipe for southern Italian vegetable stew. I liked that it sounded kind of like ratatouille but with potatoes. The result was good not great. The flavors of the mixed veggies was very very good. I was really surprised by how flavorful it was considering it was basically just basil, tomatoes, and salt. But the recipe did need some tinkering. I think the potato chunks were too big. The size prevented them from really absorbing the flavor of the stew. Next time I’d cut them smaller and cook them for less time. The zucchini was undercooked. I think next time I’d add them 12 minutes in instead of 15. The peppers were perfectly crunchy though, so I’d still add those at minute 15. Finally, I thought the recipe would really benefit from some kalamata olives. I tried adding a few and indeed I really liked the result. I’m on the fence about whether I’ll make this again. It was super easy to make. But I finished it in a couple days. Not up to my standards of week-long meals. If I make it again I need to 1.5 the recipe.