Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Vegetarian Alternative to a Sunday Supper

The most challenging thing about being vegetarian is keeping the tradition alive. Especially when you come from Emilia Romagna and it is Sunday, and you kinda wanna eat some Lasagne, Tagliatelle or…Pasticcio. This is my Vegetarian alternative to the most famous dish of Ferrara: Pasticcio di Maccheroni.

As I have turned vegetarian only 3 months ago, I still have fresh memories of how the original one should taste like and I have to admit that the meat plays an important role in this recipe. But if you can pimp your vegetarian ragù with the right spices you are more than just fine.
For the pastry, the béchamel, how to cook the pasta and how to build this masterpiece follow the instruction of the previous post about the original pasticcio.
The only thing that changes is the ragù.
First, diced 1 carrot, half of a big white onion, 1 celery and some green cabbage. Oil the pot and put the diced vegetables. Cover and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. If you have one zucchini, this is the time to dice it and throw it inside the pot. Add a bay leaf. After 10 more minutes add a glass of red wine and higher the heat. You can add some tomato concentrate diluted in some warm water or just leave it “ white” with no sauce. It is up to your own preference. For pasticcio I prefer not to put tomato sauce but if I were making lasagna, I would add tomato to the veg ragù.
Now it is time to pimp the ragù with some smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I found that smoked paprika is like an injection of pork flavoring but without actually involving any pork.  
Once the ragù is ready, you can start mixing it with the béchamel, the pasta and start building the masterpiece.

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