Vegetarian Tomato Bolognese with Avocado

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but you’ll probably find that when I’m lazy and don’t really want to be inventive or, truthfully, cook in general, I will make pasta. The nice thing about knowing the basics of cooking though is how it can lend a hand to a delicious no-fuss meal that literally took my 10 minutes to make. Seriously. 
I have discussed the basic process of making pasta dishes – ie. putting the water on before you do anything with the sauce.  This is really just common sense though – unless you’re making a true authentic Bolognese sauce (ie. one that simmers and reduces for like 3 hours, or some craziness like that) – boiling the water takes the longest. 
So, let’s get down to business.  I’m sure you’ve seen this product in supermarkets called Veggie Ground Round.  If not, I suggest checking it out, it’s awesome. Pretty much it’s soy-based product that is made to look like ground beef. The texture is so cool though – it reminds me of good authentic Quebec cheese curds – you know that squeaky kind?? The GOOD stuff 🙂 I know that sounds really weird for this to have that texture, but I think that’s definitely one of the best things about this product.  Now, I wanted to give you guys a little insight into the health benefits of this stuff, so I decided to go to their website.  What I found is that it is like 100 times better than I had originally thought.  Check it out; 
Yves Product (Meatless Ground)
Meat Product (Ground Beef)
Serving Size (g)
55
55
Calories
60
171
Calories from Fat
5
135
Protein (g)
10
9
Fat (g)
       Saturated fat (g)
       Cholesterol (mg)
0.5
0
0
16
6
47
Carbohydrates (g)
5
0

*I have not, nor have I ever been paid by Yves to promote their brand.  This is only intended for informational purposes.

The thing that stands out to me the most is that there is actually more protein in a meatless product – well that and of course the calories, I mean I am still a girl….. 

Anywho – my favourite aspect of a good classic Bolognese is the thick texture it obtains after simmer for a lengthy about of time.  It oozes effort and passion.  I can just picture the years of development put forward by little old Nonnas scattered throughout the tiny hillside villages of Northern Italy.  (Speaking of which, I am accepting donations for an Italy fund – I would like to cook with a little old Nonna, and I would like her to kiss my cheek and only speak to me in Italian – and cry when she tastes her food because she knows it is just THAT DAMN GOOD – and then I would like to drink wine that came from her vineyard that has been in her family for a million years – then she will introduce me to her beautiful Italian grandson, and we’ll fall in love and make beautiful babies……wait…. what?????? where am I?

Ok………this is getting awkward – why don’t I just share the recipe with you and be done with it…… 
Ingredients

340g (1 pkg) Veggie Ground Round
1 avocado, medium dice
1/2 jar Italissima strained tomatoes (my Nonna would be very upset with this – but at least it’s a product of Italy 🙂)
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I like it spicy so I tend to just eye ball this)
1/2 pkg whole wheat rotini pasta (because I didn’t feel like using spaghetti – I don’t care what type you use….)
EVOO
S&P
1. Put the pasta water on the stove! Heat a pan on medium heat with a little bit of EVOO (just coat the bottom of the pan). 
2. Open the package of ground round and dump it in the pan. Break it up with a wooden spoon and toss in some red pepper flakes.  
3.  Swirl in the strained tomatoes.  Once it’s come to the boil taste it and season as necessary.  If you want more crushed red pepper flakes, toss ’em in there. Turn down to a simmer and let it reduce slightly. 
4. By this time the water should be boiling – DON’T FORGET to season the water, it should taste like the sea. Cook the pasta to al dente.
5. Throw the avocado into the sauce.  Pile the strained pasta on top.  Gently fold it altogether.  *The idea here is that you don’t want to destroy the shape of the avocado by mushing it up, you just want to heat it through slightly.
6. Plate, and serve.  Toss a little parmesan on top if you would like – you don’t need it though. I just like it because it’s the only time I allow myself to have cheese…… (It’s the devil for my a**) 

Now I hope the way I described this recipe makes you truly want to go home and make it tonight – I can’t stress enough how easy it is.  No joke, 10 minutes. If you really want to have meat – and that’s all you have in your fridge, then it’s totally doable.  The difference is that it may take a little longer because the meat needs to cook – the nice thing about this veggie stuff is that it pretty much just needs to be heated through. No muss, no fuss. Is that even proper use here??


Alright, I think that’s all I have to say about this one.

Happy Cooking, Friends!

XOX
ATay

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