Extra virgin olive oil - a good 5 tbs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 quantity of seitan 'doner meat' (see previous blog post)
Gently fry the seitan pieces in the oil, and sprinkle in the cinnamon. Do this on a low heat, you want them to take on the cinnamon flavour, not crisp them up.
Cook for about 5 minutes, then set them and the oil aside
Once more to the pot!
Extra virgin olive oil - a good 5 tbs at least DO NOT SKIMP it's part of the richness and there's no meat fat
1 large onion, red or white, up to you
3 fat cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp cumin
2 whole cloves OR 1/4 tsp ground clove
1 tsp. cayenne pepper if you want
1/8 fresh nutmeg, grated
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups red wine
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin water
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Slice the onion into rough half rings, and pop it into the pan on a high heat initially, while you get the onion coated in oil, then add the garlic and turn the heat down to low.
Sweat the onions and garlic until they are translucent, anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the onion.
Add in the cinnamon, cumin, clove, cayenne, nutmeg, red wine vinegar, wine, tomatoes, water, sugar and tomato puree.
Pop in the seitan, mix everything together really well, then cover and let it simmer for a good hour. You want all those flavours to mingle, and get right into the seitan.
For the next hour, pop it in the oven on around 150C and let it bake for 30 minutes, then take the lid off for 15 minutes, to make the sauce more rich.
It should end up looking like this:
I admit, I ate a fair amount of that straight up, just as it was. It's very filling, and you honestly don't need much!
The next night, I decided pasta was going to happen. Inspired by a dish called pastitsada from Corfu - essentially spiced chicken and pasta - I added some more extra virgin olive oil to the pot, snipped the seitan into much smaller pieces with scissors to make it easier to eat, added in another spoon of tomato paste and another 1/2 cup of wine, then let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
I then boiled some bucatini - or what ever pasta you like - until it still had a bit of bite, then transferred the pasta into the casserole dish using tongs. Any pasta water that gets in? Don't worry, the starch will thicken the sauce a bit.
Let the pasta cook in the sauce, soaking it all up.
Serve in fairly small portions as it's pretty much carbs + carbs, and eat topped with your cheese of choice.
I'd made a version of vegan parmesan* to try, and it worked very well with the rich sauce.
3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
4 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Pulse in a food processor until you've got fine crumbs. You have to pulse as other wise the nuts warm, and the oils turn the lot into nut paste. Very tasty paste though!
*It's not parmesan, we all know that, but it is really tasty with this dish.