Vegan broccoli pasta
I love broccoli. It’s amazing; such a fresh, almost sweet flavour – and it looks like a little tree to boot. Viper and I used to live in Melbourne, near the Vietnamese precinct – we would get on our bikes and load up our backpacks (geeks) with fresh Chinese broccoli (massive bunches for $1 each). Lightly steamed with oyster sauce, woah daddy, it’s a winner. Oh now I want to go off on a tangent about all the glorious food to be eaten in Melbourne. I don’t miss Melbourne; I miss Melbourne’s FOOD. An example of such would be the Vegie Bar – I took my Mum here for lunch while she was visiting for a weekend. I think we went back twice in 24 hours. My Mum’s not even a vego. Enough said. If you ever go to Melbs, put on the Must Eat list.
Seems like the broccoli season is cranking here; there’s copious amounts of the stuff, and it’s super cheap. I’m loading up on the green goodies, big time. Broccoli usually ends up in Asian style stirfrys or salads in this household. Today, I’m experimenting. Not sure if it’s a good idea, but I’m going with it.
A broccoli pasta dish? A VEGAN broccoli pasta dish? There will be no hiding behind a thick creamy layer of cheese (which covers a multitude of cooking sins).
1 medium head of broccoli, roughly chopped
1 medium brown onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2C vegetable stock (check the ingredients if you are using stock cubes as there are some DODGY brands out there which include fish extract- in the supposed vegetarian versions).
1/4C nutritional yeast
1/4C vegan cream cheese
- Cook off onion and garlic in a fry pan. You just want to soften them here, let the onion go translucent, but don’t brown. It’s all about getting those flavours going. Set aside.
- Bring your stock to the boil, chuck in broccoli and cooked onion and garlic. This will not need much cooking; you want to retain the majority of nutrients from the broccoli and keep that gorgeous green colour. Once tender, take off heat immediately. Strain the vegetables, and keep your stock for thinning of the sauce . You can keep any leftover stock in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays for future dishes. Waste not want not; I’m cheap.
- Pulse veges in a food processor, adding about 3T of your stock liquid to get things moving.
- Add all other ingredients (except pasta!) to food processor, and mix until smooth, adding more stock if necessary
- Transfer back into a saucepan, and reheat when ready to use (you will need to add more stock on reheating as it will thicken a bit)
- Cook pasta according to directions on pack (I used a wholemeal spaghetti)
- Toss together cooked pasta and broccoli sauce. Serve with this little vegan ditty:
- Take the ‘guts’ out of the capsicum, rinse with water just to make sure you get all of the seeds out, and place on a baking tray.
- Whack the grill up high (200 degreesC/395F) with the tray on the 3rd rung down so they don’t burn before they cook. Keep an eye on them-you are looking for the skin to char and bubble, and the capsicum to get fragrant. After about 20 minutes, or when you are satisfied with the charring of your capsicum, turn off the grill and leave peppers in the oven to cool down.
- Peel skin off peppers and cut into strips
- Slice mushrooms. Saute in a fry pan which has been lightly misted with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Slice your zuccinni, and pop under grill as you did the capsicum. Grill for 5minutes on each side.
- Slice zuccinni into ribbons and toss with mushrooms, capsicum and….
- Whisk together ingredients. This makes a tad more than needed, but it keeps well in the fridge. We just a have a bottle ready and waiting as it goes with anything. Viper impressed me during our ‘courtship,’ by whipping up this little number.