C’est La Video: Pasta with “Meat” Sauce & Speedy Garlic Bread
Do you guys know about Meatless Mondays? If you’re one of my non-vegan readers, you may not have heard of this campaign, but it’s becoming more and more mainstream, and now even Oprah is in on it. I’ve been wanting to start a Meatless Monday feature on the blog for a while now, and I’m excited to kick the whole thing off with a brand new C’est La Video!
You may be on board with the idea of going meatless one day a week, but if you’re anything like I was before I became vegetarian, you hear the world “meatless” and imagine a day of carrot sticks for lunch and a boring salad for dinner. Even with the best of intentions, if you don’t know what to eat, you’re just not going to stick with it.
Add to that the fact that most of us are busy people, and we don’t always have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen at the end of a long work day. If you’re intimidated by vegetarian food, you’re even less likely to want to cook, and you’re already writing off Meatless Mondays before even giving them a shot.
I want to show you guys that you can have a great meal that will be familiar to you and your family, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time and work. I promise you that no one will miss the meat, and even though this meal uses some pre-made products, it’s so much better for you than its non-vegan counterpart.
Is it better to make everything from scratch? Of course it is, but you certainly don’t have to. Using pre-made products can be a huge help, and I want to make sure you don’t have any excuses for not going meatless on Mondays! There are plenty of great all-natural products out there, so just make sure to read those ingredient lists and choose high-quality pre-made foods.
This meal is less of a recipe and more of an assembly. If I don’t have my favorite garlic bread spread in the fridge, I use the method shown in the video to make some Speedy Garlic Bread. It’s really tasty, and couldn’t be easier to make. Use a baguette, ciabatta, or whatever kind of bread you like best.
My favorite recipe for marinara sauce is also really easy to make, but some nights it’s just easier to open a jar. Who’s with me? Just make sure the pre-made sauce is meat and dairy free. And don’t forget to include some veggies to round out this meal. Some roasted or sauteed broccoli or asparagus would be tasty, but you could also serve a simple side salad like I do in the video.
Shells with “Meat” Sauce
1 pound conchiglie pasta (shells)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bag of Boca Ground Crumbles
1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine, vegetable broth or water for deglazing the pot
1 26-ounce jar of pre-made marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Sauce)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. While the water comes up to a boil, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the pot is heated, add the meatless crumbles and saute. If they stick to the bottom of the pot, deglaze it with your liquid of choice (I like using red wine.) Once the crumbles are heated through, add the marinara sauce to the pot, and give it all a good stir. Cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally.
Once the pasta water is boiling, add a generous “pinch” of salt and the pasta. Give it a stir, and boil according to the package directions. Once the pasta is al dente, strain it and add it to the pot with the sauce, stirring well. Serve with Speedy Garlic bread (recipe follows.)
Speedy Garlic Bread
Toast, broil or grill the bread. Cut the top off of the garlic clove, and rub the cut end on the hot bread. Spread with margarine, and sprinkle with the vegan Parmesan.
Notes: You can use different pasta shapes if you’d prefer, but I like how the shells hold the “meat” sauce. Don’t worry about using the exact same size jar of sauce – just use something close to that size so that you have enough sauce to coat all the pasta. If you can’t find Boca Crumbles feel free to use another brand, or you could even cut up a couple veggie burgers. Just make sure to check the ingredients for dairy or eggs.