Vegan stir-cooked spaghetti

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While grocery shopping at Woolworths yesterday I found this maize-rice-quinoa spaghetti:

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I’m always excited to come across any non-wheat pasta, as it’s likely to be healthier than wheat pasta (here’s why). I try to minimise my consumption of wheat flour as it is a highly refined food, but it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do when 90% of pasta is made with it. One day I will have a pasta machine and try making my own wholegrain pasta, but for now the store bought pasta will have to do.

For my first attempt at oil-less stir-frying (a.k.a stir-cooking) I made this quick and easy spaghetti recipe to have for dinner Sunday night. It’s one of those 20-minute dishes you just throw together once you have all the ingredients lined up. Which worked out really well for me as I was so hungry.

 

What you will need

*makes enough for 4 servings

+ 1 pack spaghetti

+ About 20-25 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

+ 1/2 cup olives, pitted and sliced in half

+ 4 yellow bell peppers, finely chopped

+ 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

+ 4 teaspoons minced garlic

+ 2/3 cup raw cashew nuts (the cooked kind tend to have added oil)

+ 10 large brown mushrooms, sliced

+ 4 tablespoons soy sauce

+ spices: rosemary, black pepper, chilli pepper flakes, salt to taste

 

How to make it

Step 1

Boil the spaghetti until al dente. Use a big saucepan, with just enough water to cover it, and add the spaghetti to the water while still cold. This technique I learnt from my sister saves water and also prevents sticking without having to add oil to the water. Leave the saucepan uncovered and add hot water to the pan if it goes down too fast.

When the spaghetti is done, drain the water into a bowl; we’ll use it later. Something I’ve learned from other food bloggers is that you should try to reuse the water used to cook rice and pasta rather than discard it, as it contains nutrients too.

Take the spaghetti out of the saucepan and transfer to a covered bowl, leaving some water with it to prevent sticking.

Step 2

In the same saucepan, brown the onions and garlic on medium heat in a tiny bit of water, about a tablespoon. Add more water a tablespoon at a time as the water the dries up, to prevent burning. When the onions start to brown around the edges, add 1/3 cup of the spaghetti water to the pan, along with the mushrooms, soy sauce and spices. Leave to simmer 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add the spaghetti, tomatoes, yellow pepper and cashew nuts to the pan, plus another 1/3 cup of the spaghetti water, and toss the spaghetti to mix everything together evenly. Leave to simmer until the water is dried out. And you’re done!

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In case you’re wondering, I couldn’t detect any difference in taste between regular spaghetti and the gluten free one. The only differences I noticed were that the gluten-free one took longer to cook and it was less sticky.

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