SPAGHETTI AND BEYOND BEEF NUGGETS
An UPTICKED DELLALO TOMATO BASIL SAUCE ladled over thin spaghetti and topped with BEYOND BEEF ROUND NUGGETS cooked to perfection! DELALLOLICIOUS! Lots of veggies in this sauce!
TA-FC Clipboard: Instead of using the pound of ground round as crumbles or burgers, I decided to cook it in large enough pieces that resembled beef nuggets. Nice effect!
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. sliced celery, not too thick
1 rounded cup diced mild cubanelle peppers, 1/2 inch square
1 rounded c. diced sweet onion, 1/2 inch square
1 t. salt
1/3 c. very finely sliced baby carrot – 1/4 inch thick is not finely sliced; 1/16th inch or thinner (it can be done with a very sharp broad blade knife or mandolin)
1 T. jarred minced garlic
32 oz. jar tomato basil sauce – I used DELALLO brand
2 c. V-8 VEGETABLE JUICE
2 T. tomato paste – I used Napoleon tube paste
1 t. ground fennel seed
1 T. margarine
16 oz. pkg, BEYOND BEEF GROUND, thawed
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper
1 lb. thin spaghetti cooked in lots of sufficiently salted boiled water till tender, then drained well. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
In extra-large skillet over low heat, melt oil. Add celery and pepper first and saute while you prepare the onion and carrot.
Add onion and carrot, stir to coat with oil then leave on low heat till tender, stirring as needed to expose all surfaces to heat.
Add garlic, stir well.
Add tomato sauce, V-8 VEGETABLE JUICE, tomato paste and fennel. Stir well, cook for another 10 minutes, stirring as needed.
Salt and pepper to taste, then set aside away from heat.
In another skillet, over medium heat, melt margarine.
Pinch off chunks of beef ground and place in skillet without overlapping. Just push them into place.
Salt the tops lightly. Cook as is, without stirring, for about 5 minutes to brown the undersides. Flip over each segment and brown the other side.
Do not mash them down or stir them or repeatedly flip them.
You’ll see liquid fat from the beef bubble up. Just leave it – most of it will reabsorb into the beef as it sets. Set aside.
When ready to eat, cook the pasta. Reheat the sauce and nuggets.
Lift pasta onto plater. Spoon sauce over pasta. Top with beef nuggets.
Sprinkle with a little fresh grind black pepper and if desired a little shredded vegan parmesan.
Notes: Prepare the sauce first, then cook the spaghetti.
When spaghetti is halfway done, cook the beef nuggets – don’t overcook, and don’t cook ahead to serve later. The nuggets firm up and are not as tender and juicy as when they’re first cooked.
If cooking ahead is a must, then half cook them. Then later, with the nuggets still in the skillet, reheat till skillet is very hot, then add a few Tablespoons of water (or more) covering the skillet to steam them.
Frankly, I don’t buy jarred tomato sauces. That’s Steve’s domain. I’d rather do it the old-fashioned way, and he likes that way better too.
But he has this thing, maybe from childhood, that jarred sauces are cool – especially if they taste great.
He’s tried a bunch of them, and loves it when his favorites are on sale. Right now he’s a DELLALO GUY! Sale or not. Steve’s my SHOPPER CHIEF for THE ANIMAL-FREE CHEF.
I asked if this sauce was on sale and the answer was no. I raised that one eyebrow of mine and he quickly added that they were still reasonably priced though. I agreed.
Actually one could eat this right out of the jar. But being me, I wanted to uptick it a bit. Simply put, DELALLOLICIOUS!
TOMATO PASTE in a tube? Well that’s Steve, always wanting to try something new and different. Yes, it’s a good idea if using only a bit at a time. It’s convenient too. It’s there when you need it, but make sure you don’t forget it’s there.
V-8 VEGETABLE JUICE adds a multi-vegetable dimension to the sauce. When you want to thin a spaghetti sauce, it’s a good choice.