Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Pappardelle can lift an ordinary pasta meal right up into the extraordinary.
These flat, broad ribbons are a wonderful base for holding on to chunky sauces, which, I thought, would make it a perfect fit for this dish. If you cannot find papardelle, use tagliatelle, which are also flat but less wide, or even plain old spaghetti.
My Pappardelle with Green Peppers and Asparagus Frittata was inspired by a non-vegan, eggy version I saw on television. But it's extremely easy to veganize, and, in the process, it gets healthier too.
Frittata is a thick Italian omelet filled with veggies, although in this case it serves as a sauce for the pasta. I substituted the eggs with silken tofu and some egg replacement powder. This worked really well because unlike with a regular frittata, I didn't need the egg substitutes to set into a firm omelet.
I used frozen asparagus spears for this dish, but go with fresh asparagus if you can find it. I also added a green pepper to the pasta, but needless to say any other colored pepper or green onions (scallions) or even spinach would be great in this.
I am sending this of course to my It's A Vegan World: Italian event. And still hoping that you creative cooks out there come up with your own veganized Italian dishes before Feb. 28, 2009.
This recipe also goes to Madhuram's Egg Replacement event, where her chosen ingredient this month is egg replacer powder.
Cheers, folks. And enjoy!
Whole-Wheat Pappardelle Pasta with Green Peppers and Asparagus Frittata
1 pound whole-wheat pappardelle pasta (feel free to substitute with tagliatelle, fettuccine, or spaghetti)
1 cup silken tofu
2 tsp egg replacer powder like EnerG
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, crushed with a broad knife, and then sliced thinly (crushing the garlic helps the oils in the garlic flow, giving you more enhanced garlicky flavor. Delicious.)
1 large green pepper, cut into a small dice
1 pound asparagus spears, tough stems removed and cut in 1/2-inch pieces. If using frozen, thaw thoroughly, then cut.
2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Bring water to boil in a large pot, with 2 tbsp of salt added to it.
Add the pasta and cook according to instructions until al dente.
Simultaneously, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and green peppers and toss in the oil.
Add half the black pepper and salt. Cook until barely tender, 3-4 minutes.
Add the pasta to the saucepan, stir together and keep on the lowest heat setting of your stove. You don't want the pasta to cook any further at this point, you just want to keep it warm.
In another saucepan, heat the other tbsp of olive oil.
Add the asparagus and remaining black pepper.
Cook, stirring, until the asparagus is fairly tender but still has a bite to it-- it should not get mushy.
In a bowl, place the tofu and egg replacer powder. Beat with a whisk to mix and smooth any lumps.
Add to the asparagus and allow it to settle for a minute. Then toss around for about two minutes.
Add the asparagus frittata to the pasta and toss to coat the noodles.
Serve hot with a salad and some crusty bread.