Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Taste of Italy

For this week's Foodie Friday I wanted to create a menu around ingredients that I already had on hand either in my raw food pantry, refrigerator or garden. Also since I am still trying to stay with this juice feast, I wanted to create a few recipes that would keep well for my husband to enjoy over this weekend. So I put together a trio of pastas and sauces to choose from and a fairly over the top dessert - raw spumoni ice cream!

Fra Diavolo

This is an Italian-American fusion sauce that is typically served with a pasta that includes seafood. I decided that it would be the perfect compliment to the Sea Spaghetti that Raw Food Rehab member VeganForLife sent me just before my juice feast. I've been curiously staring at that package and couldn't wait any longer.

For the Sauce:
ripe garden tomatoes, chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
pinch of freshly cracked pepper

1 package of Sea Spaghetti, soaked overnight & rinsed several times

For the Noodles:

Begin by covering the sea spaghetti with water in a medium bowl, cover and put into you refrigerator for at least an hour. The instructions on the website say the longer you soak them, the less "sea flavor" remains. I would recommend changing the water a couple of times before the final rinse before serving.

Putting it together:

Whisk together the olive oil and white wine and add all of the chopped ingredients, mixing together until well coated. Pour the ingredients over the spaghetti and serve.

Note from husband found the consistency of the noodles to be kind of slimy, but he said all the flavors seemed to go really well together. I did taste on of the noodles out of curiosity and it does have a distinct sea weed-ish flavor. I think these noodles are a really interesting raw pasta substitution.

White Truffle Cream Sauce with Marinated Mushrooms & Fresh Peas

Taylor, our youngest, LOVES the richness of Fettuccine Alfredo so this sauce was created with her in mind. I had a pinky taste of this sauce and it was absolutely delicious!!

For the Sauce:
1 cup soaked cashews
2 - 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon white miso
2 tablespoons truffle oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
water, as needed to blend

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and combine until creamy. Add water if needed to reach the desired consistency. I keep the sauce fairly thick, as it will thin once combined with the noodles.

Marinated Mushrooms:

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I used shiitake from my local market)
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut aminos (you could use nama shoyu or tamari)
2 garlic cloves

Whisk together the marinade and pour over the mushrooms, tossing well to make sure everything is fully coated. Cover the mushroom and allow them to sit for at least an hour to full absorb the flavor.

To Serve:

Open a package of Kelp Noodles and rinse them thoroughly. I have found that these noodles stay well in the refrigerator for days if you allow them to soak in pure water until you're ready to use them. Put some of the noodles into a bowl and scoop some of the White Truffle Sauce over the noodles, stirring well to coat the noodles. Put the sauce covered noodles onto a serving plate and arrange some of the marinated mushroom on top along with a sprinkling of fresh peas.

Creamy Red Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

There used to be an Italian restaurant in Tulsa that my husband and I would go specifically for a pasta dish that had a decadent, rich, cream based red sauce. I put these ingredients together to try to recreate that sauce and my husband said I got pretty close!

For the Red Sauce:
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped (I coated these with olive oil and dehydrated them for about 3 or 4 hours to bring out a more intense roasting)
1/2 cup cashews, soaked and drained
2 medjool dates
splash of red wine vinegar
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
8 basil leaves
generous pinch of fresh oregano

Start by blending the cashews, dates, vinegar and some juice from one of the tomatoes in a food processor. Process until you reach a smooth consistency and then add in all the other ingredients, pulsing until well combined. This sauce will keep well in a covered container in your refrigerator for several days. Do not combine with the noodles until you ready to serve.

For the Zucchini Noodles:

2 zucchini squash

Using a spiral slicer, a julienne peeler or standard vegetable peeler, create your noodles.

To Serve:

Put the noodles onto a serving plate and cover with the Creamy Red Sauce. Garnish with additional basil leaves.

Raw Spumoni Ice Cream

Spumoni is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts. Typically it is a blend of three flavors. Chocolate and pistachio are the typical flavors of the ice cream layers, and the fruit/nut layer often contains cherry bits—causing the traditional red/pink, brown, and green color combination. I suggest making three separate ice creams, skipping the molded part...they are all delicious on their own, but especially wonderful serve together as you see here.

Pistachio Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup agave nectar
a couple of drops of almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon coconut butter
2 cups chilled almond milk

In a food processor, combine 1 cup of pistachios, all the almonds, agave, almond extract, salt and coconut butter to form a thick paste. Put this paste into a blender and add the almond milk, blending until well combined. Pour this mixture into an ice cream freezer and add 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios once the ice cream begins to set up.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Milk

Coconut Milk (the meat and water of one young coconut blended together to make a milk)

1/3 cup agave nectar or 1/2 cup raw honey
1 10 oz bag frozen cherries (chop and save 1/4 cup to add in later)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almonds, chopped

In a blender, combine the coconut milk, cherries and sweetener of your choice. Pour this into an ice cream freezer to process. You can also pour the mixture into a chilled glass bowl or casserole dish and put into the freezer. Stir the ice milk well every hour or so and add in the chopped cherries and nuts once the mixture has started to firm up. This complete process may take about 6 hours until it is fully ready to serve.

Chocolate Cacao Crunch

1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/3 cup medjool dates
1/3 cup agave or honey
3 - 4 tablespoons cacao powder
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cacao or coconut butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup+ cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients, except the cacao nibs, in a blender. Use the same preparations as the other two ice creams....either a ice cream freezer or the glass bowl method. Add in the cacao nibs as the ice cream begins setting up.

Serve this trio of ice creams together in a pretty serving dish for a splendid raw rendition of Spumoni. Add a fresh cherry and or sprig of mint to serve.

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