Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Fusilli

Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Fusilli

Our youngest son gave me a vegan cookbook for Christmas called Veganomicon by Moskowitz and Romero and I have been reluctant to look at the recipes because, well, they are vegan, and I am trying to avoid that word.  The two cookbooks I received from my middle son and his girlfriend (Plenty and Jerusalem by Ottolenghi) have a lot of vegetarian recipes, but they are not vegan.  Those cookbooks use dairy products and have some meat oriented dishes.  Veganomicon is vegan, pure and simple.  Recently, I decided to expand my vegan recipe repertoire from mostly rice, beans and quinoa to tempeh, so I decided to look at the recipes of Veganomicon and I was pleasantly surprised.  I made this spicy tempeh with broccoli rabe and fusilli (or rotelle) and it was good.  The only comment I would have is that I have found that my tasting partner and I, following the ‘vegan at home diet’, like our foods a little more spicy.  The flavors were delicate and a nice contrast- the crispness of the broccoli rabe, the chewy texture of the tempeh and the fusilli pasta, but it was lacking some oomph.  In the end, we added more balsamic vinegar to the dish and next time I would double the red pepper for more of a punch, but I really liked how the tempeh was steamed in the sauce and the picked up the flavors.  I hope to have more from Veganomicon in later posts.

Recipe after the jump
Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli Rabe with Fusilli

40 minutes

½ pound whole wheat Fusilli or other spiral shaped pasta
olive oil

Spicy Fennel Tempeh:

1 (15 oz) package of tempeh, cubed
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

Broccoli rabe:

¼ cup olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 bunches of broccoli rabe, about 1 1/2 pounds, tough stems trimmed, coarsely chopped
2-3 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
olive oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain pasta, toss with a teaspoon or 2 of olive oil and keep covered in a large bowl or pasta pot.  While water is boiling and pasta cooking, prepare other ingredients.

For the tempeh:
In a measuring cup, whisk together the vegetable broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and oregano.  Place diced tempeh in a large, nonstick skillet and pour sauce over tempeh, stir to coat.  Cook over medium heat until liquid starts to simmer, and then cover pan and steam tempeh for about 8 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the tempeh is tender.  Stir a few times while tempeh is steaming.

Remove from heat, transfer tempeh to a bowl and wipe down skillet to remove any particles left from tempeh sauce.  Return skillet to medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and when oil starts to sizzle, (drop a bit of tempeh into oil) add all the tempeh into the oil and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until tempeh starts to brown.  Remove from heat and add to drained and cooked pasta.

Prepare broccoli rabe:
While tempeh is steaming and pasta is boiling, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into another large skillet, with cover, and add sliced garlic and cook for about a minute.  Add chopped broccoli rabe, stir to coat with oil, sprinkle with a little salt and cover pan.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of water (or vegetable broth) , cover and steam for 8-10 minutes until broccoli rabe is bright green and stems are tender.

Remove cover, and continue to sauté for a minute or 2 until any excess liquid is evaporated.  Pour cooked broccoli rabe onto tempeh and pasta, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar), a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper then toss to mix.

Serve and enjoy.

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