Monday, December 31, 2012

Vegan Spaghetti-O's With Franks

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with canned spaghetti (I'm sure to the chagrin of my Italian father, and superb cook mother).  I considered the "gourmet" version of this Franco-American experience to be the franks flavour, full of smoky goodness.

I've been a vegan eater and chef off and on since I was in my early 20s, but only ever attempted the canned spaghetti (which I call ghetto spaghetti) and plain spaghetti-o's varieties.

Last night I announced a craving for the franks version to my Canadian wife (who I am sure did not grow up with such a salty, processed mess of artificial yumminess).

It's New Year's Eve, meaning I am not about to go to the Italian specialty store for round pasta shapes.  Instead, I have stars on hand meant for a sick-time no-chickin' soup.

I'm sick in the head for this dish today.  Good enough, eh?

The key, I have found, to this flavour is the smoked paprika, and butter combination.  Also, I don't think it's possible to make that canned spaghetti bouquet without ketchup.

Here is my list of ingredients:

400 grams of tiny Italian pasta of any style you prefer (stars, alphabets, ditalini, etc...)
3 non-GMO vegan franks, sliced thinly
1 t Spanish smoked paprika
1 T vegan butter
1/2 t garlic powder (not salt!)
1/4 t onion powder (not salt)
2 1/2 T ketchup (the "cheap" flavour works best with a sweetened and salted variety)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 t salt (optional)
1 cup water
3 T nutritional yeast flakes
*prepare the pasta according to the directions, and shock it with cold water while draining, then set aside
*heat the butter in a skillet, adding the franks once the butter has melted (medium heat is good)
*once the franks begin to brown, add half of the smoked paprika, the ketchup, the garlic powder, and the onion powder
*fry franks until most of the liquid has absorbed, but avoid any burning
*add tomato paste, water, nutritional yeast,  and the rest of the smoked paprika, and bring to a boil before pulling from the heat
*add pasta to the pan, and stir well
*return the pan to the heat, and reduce the sauce to desired consistency, adding extra salt and/or spices for desired flavour

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