Friday, April 2, 2010

Pappardelle alle Lepre di Seitan=Ribbon Pasta with Seitan Hare Sauce

Pappardelle alle Lepre di Seitan=Ribbon Pasta with Seitan Hare Sauce 

Last night I came home from a long day of work hoping that the house would be clean, the table set, and dinner served.  The day before I had to haul myself all over Rome with drippy nasty pink eye, and 2 days into it, I was absolutely exhausted.  I was at the Vatican.  Not only was I at the Vatican, which even in good times tests my patience, it is Holy Week.  The busiest week of the year in Roman tourism, and it was not a pretty sight, I can assure you.  I sent Ettore a message with a list of ingredients, hoping that my later SMS messages  saying I would be late would inspire him to turn up the burners and cook my favorite meal, Pappardelle all Lepre.  This is MY Vegan Chicken Soup for the Tired Soul.  Whenever I feel like I may have a Crohn's flare-up, I feel tired and worn out, or I just want something warm and yummy, I make this.  Chicken soup is disgusting, but I suppose it refers to comfort food that makes you feel better when you are sick.  When I first became vegetarian I thought I would still eat this dish on special occasions, but I couldn’t stomach it.  In Italian, Lepre are hare, wild rabbits.  Even when I ate this dish I never actually liked the meat, I just liked the flavor of the sauce, and I finally learned how to replicate it in a non cruel way with a lot of practice.  I personally don’t need the texture of Seitan for this dish to be appealing, so the Seitan part of the recipe is really not necessary.  This dish is also simple to make, so, even though I arrived home late last night and the table was empty, the burners cold, and the man in bed with the dogs, I managed to whip this up in about 45 minutes.  


2 500g(15oz) cans of whole Roma tomatoes
1 vegan boullion cube
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, OR two sprigs fresh rsoemary
1 teaspoon dried whole red calabrian hot peppers
1/2 cup of white vinegar( I like to used filtered apple cider)
1/4 cup olive oil
5-6 1 inch long thin strips of Seitan for texture (optional)
Egg free Ribbon Pasta for 4 people, OR  egg free Fettucine
Tools:  Mortar and Pestle for crushing and grinding


In a large deep dished pan, pour olive oil and whole tomatoes and add two cans of water from the tomato cans, turn burner on high.
Put the garlic, rosemary, red pepper, and vinegar in the mortar and pestle and grind everything for about 2 minutes.  You don't want to make a paste but you want the mixture to be chunky.  When it is chunky, mix it in, mix until the sauce starts to boil, and then turn down to a low to medium heat.  Let the sauce simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring it every 5 minutes or so and occasionally using a masher to mash the whole tomatoes.  The longer you cook the sauce the more concentrated it becomes, but also more flavorful.   If you feel it is getting to dry, add 1/4 cup water and continue to simmer for at least 45 minutes.  If you are using the Seitan, you'll want to through the strips in when you start to boil the water, so they don't break up too much.

While the sauce is simmering you can make your vegan Pecorino.  I have tried all the vegan parmigiano recipes on earth, but I experimented a bit and whipped up a lovely cheesy sprinkle for pasta, to replace the pecorino (sheep cheese) on top..  Even my cheese loving husband loves it.    I suppose this could last in the fridge for about a week, but I eat it up in about a day!    Since vegans sometimes have issues with B12, why not use a fortified Nutritional Yeast here, like Red Star.  My dogs and cats LOVE this "Almondzano."  As a bonus, it keeps ticks and fleas away!


200 g of blanched almonds
1 teaspoon agar agar POWDER
1/2 tablespoon Celtic sea salt (NEVER table salt, not even cheap sea salt from the grocer)
1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast


Place everything into a food processor and blend until it is totally smooth with no chunks.  I process at least 5 minutes, but I also have a cheap ass food processor.  :)

I put this into a left over jar that I can close and store it in the fridge.  IKEA jars are also good. 

Now, back to the Pasta...

So the sauce has been simmering for at least 45 minutes, and you have been smelling all the amazing aromas of from the rosemary and vinegar, the tomatoes are no longer acid and the sauce is an aromatic is time to boil your water.  In a large pot bring water to boil, add Celtic Sea Salt, or even the flavorful Himalayan salt(it's pink) and throw in your pasta, make enough for leftovers, because this dish is DELICIOUS fried up i the pan the next day.  It sort of reminds me of Thai food, as it is Aromatic, comforting, spicy, exotic, and tastes even better the next day.  

When Pasta comes to a boil drain, and put pasta back in pot, pour sauce over the  pasta and stir everything together and add some Almondzano while mixing.  Serve it in large Pasta bowls, and have a very quiet meal.  Nobody will talk because the dish is THAT delish!  Make sure to leave a small bowl of Almondzano on the table in case some people may want a more "cheesy" pasta.  

Buon Appetitto!!


gold fawn said...

yum! I'm making this as soon as we have tomatoes!

GMOZ said...

Hmmm... Thai food...
Looks hella yummy, will definitely try it!
Good thing the gluten strips are optional or else Jen couldn't fade it :)

The Compassionate Hedonist said...

Steve what about the Pasta itself?

JennShaggy said...

Pappardelle is one of my favorite noodles. This dish sounds fantastic!

Haha you have quite the menagerie going on at your place. I wish I could have a bunch of animals, but apartment living is about all I can afford so I'm stuck with just one for now.

Thanks for the lovely comment :) I'm glad your a primavera fan too.