Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spaghetti with Walnuts and Fried Breadcrumbs

Thanks to my new subscription to Vegetarian Times, we had a pretty easy time finding recipe ideas for this week.  (Potential subscribers should note, though, that Vegetarian Times is far from a magazine called Vegan Times; although, it does have an index in the back which highlights vegan recipes.)

While we had an easy time finding good-looking recipes, I must say that the magazine's recipes use some pretty obscure ingredients.  Ground sumac?  Persian cucumbers?  Let's just say that I altered each recipe in order to veganize it or make it more accessible. 

Anyway, here's what we made on Sunday night:

Spaghetti with Walnuts and Fried Breadcrumbs served with Mediterranean Salad
First I'll provide the recipe for the spaghetti.

Recipe:     
Spaghetti with Walnuts and Fried Breadcrumbs
  • 1 package whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegan breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

First, cook the spaghetti according to package instructions; drain and return the spaghetti to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until they become aromatic and toasty.  Transfer the nuts to a bowl and set aside.

Add the oil and garlic to the same empty skillet and cook over medium-high heat for one minute.  Then stir in the breadcrumbs and spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the breadcrumbs begin to brown. Then remove the skillet from the heat.

Immediately, add the oil mixture and walnuts to the spaghetti pot and heat the pot over medium-high heat, tossing with tongs, for a final 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired, before serving. 

Serves 6.

Comments:
Taste:      
This pasta dish was good; not great.  It's a little spicy and a little toasty-tasting, and the breadcrumbs and walnuts did add a nice, subtle crunch to the dish.  Still, I would have liked some vegetables in it to add some brighter flavors.  Some fresh tomatoes or steamed peas would've been a nice addition. 
Accessibility:   
This is a pretty minimal ingredient list.  And remember, parsley freezes well!  So, don't worry too much about buying a whole bunch of parsley just for this dish: you can chop up the rest of it and store it in a plastic bag in the freezer.  
 Ease of Preparation:       
This dish is quick and pretty easy to make. 
Non-vegan friendliness:       
While we did have a non-vegan guest over for dinner who enjoyed the pasta, I wouldn't serve this dish as a main dish again.  Unfortunately, it's not especially filling.
Salad recipe to come...

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