Reprinted from VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 by Mark Bittman. Copyright © 2013. Published by Clarkson Potter.
|4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed||Black pepper to taste|
|2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped||1/2 pound whole wheat cut pasta; or strands, broken into 2-inch pieces|
|1 tablespoon carrot, chopped||1/2 cup dry white wine or water|
|1 onion, chopped||4 to 5 cups vegetable stock or water|
|1 tablespoon minced garlic||6 cups chopped raw vegetables|
|1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste||1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley|
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the celery, carrot, onion, and garlic, the salt, and some pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery and carrots soften and the onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until it is glossy and starts to smell toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine; stir and let the liquid bubble away.
Add the stock or water a ladleful at a time, stirring every minute or so until the liquid is almost evaporated and the pasta is just starting to stick. Add another ladleful of stock and continue to cook, stirring and adding stock as each addition is absorbed. Keep the heat medium to medium-high and stir frequently. Begin tasting the pasta 10 minutes after you add it; you want it to be just softening with a tiny bit of crunch, which could take as long as 15 minutes, depending on the shape you’ve used.
Before the pasta is quite done, start stirring in the vegetables, beginning with the firmest (see the list below), and cook, adding more stock if the pan gets too dry, until they’re nearly tender (by this time the pasta should be tender but not mushy). Stir in the parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.
Stir in any combination of the following vegetables, sliced or chopped, in Step 4; this list is in order of firmest to most tender. Until you get the hang of it, here’s a rough idea of when to add some examples: cauliflower or green beans at 12 minutes; zucchini or asparagus after 15; greens or bell peppers after 17. (You can also use pre-cooked or leftover vegetables, instead of raw: Wait until the pasta is almost entirely cooked, then stir them in at the last minute, and cook just long enough to warm through.)
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