My grandfather (my mother’s father) is from Sicily. My grandmother is from Germany, but she learned from her mother-in-law how to make lots of Italian food to keep my grandfather happy! Needless to say, I also grew up to eat a lot of Italian foods! Probably not nearly as authentic, but they were homemade and yummy! Mostly meatless, my mom makes killer lasagna and spaghetti! They are still two of my favorite foods. I make lasagna only once or twice a year since it does take some time. But I eat spaghetti at LEAST once a week, usually more! Svara eats it even more often, having it on those occasions when she doesn’t like what we are having. There is almost always leftover spaghetti in the fridge! Naren, on the other hand, is NOT a huge spaghetti fan. So in order for him to enjoy spaghetti I must make the sauce from scratch, include extras to make it chunky, and make it spicy as well! Here is our spaghetti from last night:
It is not made 100% from scratch, as I don’t often have time to do that, but it is still super tasty! I make many variations on this recipe, here is the one I made yesterday:
Spicy Chunk Spaghetti Sauce
1 20 oz jar spaghetti sauce (any variety you choose)
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced (more or less according to your taste)
1 package mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 cups water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (gives extra body and flavor to the sauce, optional)
1/2 tsp each garlic powder and black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili flakes (more or less according to your taste)
2Tbs olive oil for sauteeing
Sauté onions in the olive oil until browned. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add mushrooms and cook for about five minutes, until soft. Add zucchini and cook for a few more minutes until they start to get tender. Add the rest of the ingredients (I dump in the spaghetti sauce and then pour the water into the spaghetti sauce jar to help rinse it all out and dump that into the pan as well) and let simmer until zucchini is tender. Taste and adjust spices if necessary.
Yesterday we had it with the vegan almond feta cheese on top, it added some great creaminess and flavor to the dish!
This recipe is VERY flexible. If I have half a jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge, I’ll halve the recipe. I use whatever veggies I have on hand, or even textured soy protein or veggie ground instead (I make my own seitan and grind it in the food processor) for a spicy spaghetti “bolognese”.
Serve with a fresh salad and some homemade garlic breadsticks and you can’t go wrong!