Not only did I cook this weekend, but E did as well. He felt a hankering for italian food towards the end of the week, so he ended up whipping up a very inspired variety of italian cuisine on Friday night.
I have to say: there are a handful of eating habits that I used to possess that I am so thankful have changed. One, for example, is my sudden, fiendish love of beans, after years and years of detesting them. The other (and more relevant one with regard to this meal) is that I've finally gotten over my squeamishness about eating chunky cooked tomatoes. I don't know why I ever *HAD* a squeamishness. But for years and years, I loathed chunky tomato-sauces, and I'd use my handheld blender to zap everything tomatoey into smoothness.
No longer! Needless to say, E's sauce was particularly pleasing to me because it reminded me of how far (and how positively) my tastes in food have changed in just a few years.
Anyways, this is a really damn good sauce. I actually wasn't expecting it to be quite so orgasmically-tasty as it was. (Not that I thought it was gonna taste like regurgitated dog food, but I thought it would just taste like a pretty standard spaghetti sauce.) It took a long time to cook, but the end results were WELL worth it. It was chunky, it was hearty, it was sweet (but not *too* sweet), and it was delightful. I highly recommend.
To go with the pasta, he also whipped up some "meat"balls. When I was little, I had a long-standing hatred of anything meat-related in spaghetti, but I'm happy to say I've grown out of that as well (and I mostly have faux meatballs and faux ground-beef to thank for that). So needless to say, I looked forward to chowing down on some of these as well. And they didn't disappoint. They were flavorful, rich, and a wonderful contrast to the sweeter spaghetti sauce.
Last but not least, E split a half a loaf of fresh italian bread and whipped together garlic bread for us. This was like that so-bad-for-you-that-you-wanna-rub-it-all-over-your-nekkid-body kind of garlic bread that comes in the freezer section of the grocery store and is like 3-inches thick with butter, but WAYYYYY WAYYYY WAYYYY better. (I mean, look at how sexy it looks by candlelight--*picturing it with a bottle of wine, sweet-talking me into the sack*) I kinda miss the artery-clogging breads of yore, so it was nice to eat a veganized (and fresh) version of one, despite the fact that I'm mildly horrified now that I know how much vegan butter he used. Heh heh.
- 1 c. chopped onion
- 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
- 1/4 c. chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. olive oil
- Two 14.5 oz cans of chopped tomatoes, undrained
- 1/3 c. water
- One 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2 T. snipped fresh parsley
- 1 t. crushed dried basil
- 1 t. crushed dried oregano
- 1/2 t. crushed dried marjoram
- 1 t. vegan sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
In a pot, cook the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic in the hot oil until tender.
Stir in 1/3 c. of water, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, herbs, sugar, salt, black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes more until it has reached desired consistency, continuing to stir occassionally.
- 1 pkg gimme lean "ground beef"
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
- 1/4 t. dried oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 t. fresh, chopped parsley.
- 1/2-3/4 T. olive oil
Put all the herbs and garlic powder in a bowl with the gimme lean. Mix and mash with hands.
Heat about 3/4 T. olive oil in skillet until very hot. Roll gimme lean mixture into 1.5 inch balls. Place balls in hot oil and fry on all sides, turning often, until browned (that sounds so dirty--growr). Takes about 7-9 minutes.
- 1 c. vegan butter/margarine
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
- 1 t. fresh chopped parsley
- 1 loaf italian bread
Let butter sit out for a bit to soften. Add garlic and parsley to butter and mix well. Slather, quite generously, the butter mix on the italian bread that you have sliced lengthwise. Place bread under broiler until it's just beginning to turn brown on the edges and the butter is melted. Eat. Hopefully do not die immediately of clogged arteries. ; )