This quick mostly store-bought ingredients meal helps me get through the week, especially by Wednesday night. Store-bought/ pre-made vegan meatballs or vegan Italian sausage adds a hearty chunkiness to the sauce. Zucchini is my Italian go-to add-in vegetable for pasta sauce but any vegetable or mix of vegetables will work (carrots, eggplant, squash…). With a few additions, jar sauce can taste like homemade in no time.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
9 meatleass gluten-free/dairy-free meatballs or Italian sausage 1 pound gluten-free SPAGHETTI pasta noodles 2 tablespoon OLIVE OIL 2 medium ZUCCHINI, sliced 1 ONION, chopped 24 ounce jar of PASTA SAUCE (I like tomato & basil flavored) 1 tablespoon BASIL, if not using flavored sauce 1 teaspoon OREGANO, if not using flavored sauce 1 pinch KOSHER SALT, to taste 1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER, to taste Optional toppings: Sprinkle of Vegan PARMESAN CHEESE
PREPARE PASTA (approximately 11 minutes)
In the appropriately sized saucepan for the amount of pasta you are cooking, BOIL water over high heat. COOK pasta according to the package.
Drain the pasta and save some of the water to use later in the sauce (like 1/4 cup)
PREPARE MEATBALLS (approximately 10 minutes to bake)
Follow the package directions for skillet cooking or baking of meatballs
SET ASIDE when done
PREPARE ZUCCHINI and SAUCE (while pasta and meatballs are cooking)
In a skillet over medium-high heat, ADD oil until hot
ADD zucchini and onions and SAUTE for 5 minutes until the zucchini is browned but not soft
ADD the pasta sauce to the skillet and bring to a BOIL
LOWER the head and let SIMMER for 8-10 minutes (Reducing the sauce thickens it and concentrates the flavors).
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
ADD the meatballs to the sauce and toss to cover
USE the saved pasta water to extend the sauce if needed
Heat the mixture until meatballs are sufficiently warmed
PLATE up pasta and TOSS with sauce mixture
SERVE with a topping of vegan parmesan cheese if you like
STORE pasta separate from sauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. FREEZE sauce for up to 3 months. Pasta doesn’t freeze well.
If sauteing bay scallops in garlic, white wine, and vegan butter weren’t delicious enough, serving them with pasta and sweet peas make this dish not only flavorful but colorful too. I love finding different gluten-free kinds of pasta. Tagliatelle is similar to fettuccine; its a long, flat, egg noodle. Jovial Foods makes a nice brown rice variety. If you are looking for a seafood dish to serve your friends and family, this gluten-free, dairy-free delight will get no complaints, I promise.
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes (fresh vs frozen)
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 pound gluten-free TAGLIATELLE PASTA noodles 10 ounces SWEET PEAS (fresh or frozen) 3 tablespoons VEGAN BUTTER, divided in 1/2 1 tablespoon OLIVE OIL 1 pound BAY SCALLOPS, rinsed and dried (fresh or frozen) 3 cloves GARLIC, chopped 2 tablespoons LEMON JUICE 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon WHITE WINE 1 tablespoon BASIL 1 teaspoon OREGANO 1 pinch KOSHER SALT, to taste 1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER, to taste Optional toppings: Sprinkle of Italian PARSLEY, chopped Sprinkle of Vegan PARMESAN CHEESE
BOIL water over high heat for the pasta. COOK pasta according to the package. Best to cook ‘al dente’ (firm to the bite).
Drain the pasta but SAVE about 1/2 cup of the pasta water for later
If using FROZEN, follow the package directions.
If using FRESH, I recommend steaming then in a saucepan.
FILL a saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom but not up to the steamer basket
Bring the water to a BOIL over high heat
ADD the sweet peas and COVER for 2 minutes
REMOVE from heat and set aside
If using FROZEN scallops then THAW in a colander under cold running water for about 5 minutes. RINSE scallops and PAT dry with a paper towel.
If using FRESH scallops, RINSE and PAT scallops dry with a paper towel.
HEAT a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. ADD oil and 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter until it starts to brown.
ADD 1/2 the scallops to the very hot skillet*. SPRINKLE with salt and pepper and SEAR for 90 seconds without stirring.
*The key to searing the scallops is a very hot pan and leaving lots of room for them to cook. If the pan is not hot enough and the scallops are crowded, they will steam instead of sear. Scallops contain a lot of liquid which will express when they cook. And, I recommend that you take the scallops off the heat a little before you think they are done because they will continue to cook in the bowl.
FLIP the scallops over and SEAR on the other side for another 90 seconds.
REMOVE the first batch of seared scallops from the pan. PLACE in a medium bowl and set aside.
ADD more butter, if needed, and the remaining scallops.
SEAR the scallops the same way as you did the first time.
REMOVE the second batch and add to the first.
PREPARE THE SAUCE
In the frying pan you used for the scallops there should still be a hot oil/butter mixture on the bottom. If not, ADD more butter, if you need, and heat until bubbling.
ADD the garlic and SAUTE for 1 minute until it starts to brown.
ADD the white wine, basil, and oregano and let it bubble. REDUCE for 1 minute.
ADD the lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
COOK for 1-2 minutes. It should reduce about 1/3.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
ADD the scallops to the sauce and toss to cover with sauce
ADD the cooked pasta to the sauce and use the saved pasta water to extend the sauce if needed
TOSS the pasta with the sauce and scallops to combine
MIX in sweet peas for color and taste. The amount of peas to add is really a personal preference., I used the whole bag.
TOSS everything to combine
SERVE with a topping of parsley and/or vegan parmesan cheese