My sister, a huge fan of non-vegetarian food recently became completely vegetarian, and in her enthusiasm and mission to convert others, she managed to keep everyone else off non-veg for a whole month. As a result, even after my sister was gone (to hostel), even my dad decided to stay off non-veg.
Craving to eat non-vegetarian food, and yet knowing that nobody else would, i decided to make a compromise. I would make vegetarian food that would taste like non-veg and feel like non-veg.
Spaghetti Bolognese was my first attempt at doing so. I simply replaced meat (beef) with soya granules. Soya Granules have become a very popular alternative to meat. But to get the right taste, needs a good balance of masala (spices) and treatment.
Here’s what you need:
150 gm (about 1/4th of the packet) Nutrela Soya Granules, cooked as instructed on the pack
200 gm Spaghetti
2 cups Garlic and Herb stock
1 tsp Oregano (can be dry-powdered)
1/2 tsp Rosemary (dried) or 1 stem of fresh Rosemary
1 tsp chilli flakes
1tsp Basil (dry-powdered) or 3-4 leaves of fresh basil
1 tbsp Freshly ground pepper (this tastes completely different from pepper powder)
1 tetrapack of Tomato Puree
2 tbsp Red Pesto
2 tbsp Olive Oil for gravy
3 tsp Olive Oil for spaghetti
1 large Onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
What you need to do:
For the soya gravy –
In a deep vessel, heat the oil on a medium flame. Once heated, add the onion and saute until brown. Add the tomato puree and wait until it reaches a boil. Add the garlic and herd stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Add oregano, rosemary, basil, chilli flakes and freshly ground pepper. Now add the cooked soya granules in the mixture and stir till it becomes homogeneous. Add salt as per taste. Now keep simmering on a medium flame till most of the water evaporates and the sauce turnes to a thickish consistency. You will observe that the texture of the soya also startes becoming more meat-ish at this point. The sauce is ready.
For the spaghetti-
Fill a large vessel with water and bring to a boil. While it is boiling, add 1 tbsp of salt and 2 tsp of olive oil. Add the spaghetti and boil till it is cooked. Strain the water completely. Sprinkle some olive and add the red pesto sauce. Toss till all the spaghetti is covered in it.
Serve in a slightly depressed dish, with Spaghetti at the bottom, topped with the soya gravy. Garnish with a few leaves of basil and parmesan cheese.
* if you want the gravy extra spicy, add a tsp of black pepper powder rather than chilli flakes.