Despite the heat and moisture floating around the Tel Aviv area, we felt like having spaghetti bolognese today. The recipe is rather easy, and if you make a large quantity, you can freeze it for future use. It uses soy flakes, or TVP, which is a lovely (and cheap!) substance. It's important to use the smaller TVP pieces that have a similar texture to ground meat. While the taste may not be exactly the same (honestly, I wouldn't remember; I've been vegetarian for fifteen years), great things can be achieved using organic canned tomatoes and herbs.
1 1/2 cups soy flakes/TVP
2 tbsps olive oil
4 large, chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsp schug or hot sauce
3 large, ripe tomatoes
1 can organic canned tomato cubes
2 tbsps fresh oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp rosemary
a bit of salt (optional)
Place soy flakes in a large pot with fresh water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat somewhat and cook for a few minutes, until flakes are soft and the whole thing looks like a (rather unappetizing) porridge. Strain out the water in a collander.
Heat up olive oil in a large pan or wok and add chopped garlic and schug or hot sauce. Sautee a bit, until fragrance is released. Then, add the cooked and drained soy flakes. Mix them up with the other ingredients and keep cooking, stirring occasionally. The less water in the flakes, the faster this will happen. Do not expect the flakes to brown like meat; just dry'em up a bit and mix well with the aromatics.
Then, add the chopped fresh tomatoes, the canned tomatoes and the herbs (and salt, if desired). Continue cooking for about ten to fifteen minutes, or until most liquids evaporate and you're left with a lovely vegan sauce. You can cook your pasta at the same time, then mix'em together in the wok, or layer pasta in the place and place sauce on top. Enjoy!