Blog Archives

2007 Casa Da Corca Douro and Vegan Meat Sauce

With Shavout coming up and the desire to take it a bit easy, I made some lovely vegan meat sauce along with quinoa and pasta. The vegan meat sauce is so easy to make and so absolutely tasty that I thought it best to put the recipe here.

Vegan Meat Sauce Recipe

  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 diced onions
  3. 3 diced zucchini
  4. 16 oz. of thickly cut mushrooms
  5. salt to taste
  6. pepper to taste
  7. 2 tbsp basil
  8. 5 cloves of garlic
  9. 2 tbsp sugar
  10. 2 packages (16 oz. each) of Yves ground soy (or the Trader Joe package)
  11. 2 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  12. 1 cup (or more) of red wine

Heat the oil till almost smoking and throw in the diced onions until they are nicely caramelized. After that throw in the zucchini and saute them till they soften. Then throw in the mushrooms and cook them till they start to soften, but do not let them get too soft or browned as you want them to still have a bite. Finally throw in the spices and then the last four ingredients and cook for another 30 or more minutes until the sauce thickens, stirring often and making sure nothing sticks.

I enjoyed this over a bed of quinoa and my wife had pasta, but this goes well over any starch you may desire. It has good bite and flavor, while also being low in calories and fat.

To pair with this dish I opened a bottle of the 2007 Casa da Corca. I guess the saying, you get what you pay for really lived up to its billing. This wine was on sale during the Passover sales and this one was not worth it. The wine is fine, but not one that I wanted to waste my Shabbos wine on. Either way, drink UP if you have some and do not let it stay too long in the bottle. Either enjoy it right after you open it or save the rest to pour into a great pot of vegan meat sauce!

The wine note follows below:

2007 Casa da Corca Douro – Score: B to B+
The nose starts off with an conspicuous amount of toasty oak followed by blackberry, black cherry, a hint of raspberry, tobacco, and lovely smokey notes. The mouth is medium to full bodied with almost mouth coating integrating tannin, a large dose of blackcurrant, that is balanced with good oak extraction, earthy notes, and herbs for a pleasant mouth feel. The finish is long with citrus zest, at times, lovely espresso coffee, vanilla, licorice, and cloves. This is in drink up mode. The wine is not showing mevushal characteristics, but is quick to fade, losing its brightness and flavor profile within hours of opening. DRINK UP!

Alfasi Malbec/Syrah Reserve and Parve Spaghetti Bolognese

We have made Spaghetti Bolognese before, but this was a bit crazy, I must say.  You know when you mother used to tell you, no going out with friends on a school night?  Well, my friend Benyamin Cantz (from Four Gates Winery), had invited me to his house for a Sheva Berachot of friends of his.  Well, I should have remembered my mother, when I accepted the invite.  I had a grand time and when it was done, I was so tired (worked and cleaned up and God knows what else), that I barely could get up the next morning!  Worse, I had yet to cook the meal for Friday night.  So when I dragged myself in from work on Friday, I was pooped, and could almost not bring myself to whip up a nice Sabbath dinner.  Thank Goodness I woke up enough to make a nice affair – otherwise, I would have been kicking myself all Sabbath.

This recipe was meant to be a Pasta Puttanesca, but we had bought all these lovely vegetables from our local farmer’s market (zucchini, eggplant, etc.), and they do not last forever, and they do not fit in Puttanesca.  So, when we thought what we needed to create we came up with the Parve Spaghetti Bolognese.  The recipe is pretty simple:

Parve Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
As many onions you have or like (you can never have enough onions)
16 ounces of sliced mushrooms
3 Japanese eggplants
3 colored (yellow, green, striped green) zucchini
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp Thyme
2 tsp Basil
2 packages of fake ground/crumbled meat
28 ounces of good tomatoes
1 jar of Kalamata Olives
Half a bottle of good cooking wine

It not only looks easy, it is crazy easy to make.  Dice the onions and then sauté them until nice and brown.  Throw in the mushrooms and sauté them as well until you have nice brown onions and mushrooms.  At this point one could have thrown in some tomato paste to thicken the pot and food, but I passed on that, because I had little time.  Now throw in the diced zucchini and eggplant until they cook down.  Then throw in the herbs, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients, and cook down until the pasta sauce is at the consistency that you like.  I like my sauce a bit thicker, so I cooked it a bit longer than most would.

The food is thick and heavy and yummy, and I grabbed a bottle of wine that I was not initially so sure about.  But wow was I surprised, another great QPR (Quality to Price Ratio), though the score does not show it (as price is not part of wine scoring).

The wine note follows below:

2007 Alfasi Malbec – Syrah Reserve (50% Malbec/50% Syrah) – Score: B+
The nose on this ruby to garnet colored wine is hot out of the bottle, along with raisins, sweet oak, vanilla, roasted herbs, and nice heady and spicy aroma. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is busy with plum, raspberry, and cherry. The mid palate is where this nicely balanced and soft yet velvety wine comes to life with acid, integrated tannins, and a nice layer of dust. The finish is long with mounds of spice, coffee, white chocolate, and a dollop of vanilla. Quite a nice wine that really gets better with a couple of hours of air.

%d bloggers like this: