Brrr. We have been hit by a tremendous cold front, which has brought tons of snow (or at least, tons by lake Lugano standards) and very cold temperatures, temepratures I had never seen around here. We are talking teens. We are talking "what the hell am I going to wear to work?" kind of temperatures.
I have pretty much locked myself in the house every single night. Going out for drinks or dinner? No thanks. All I wanted to do was sit by the fire or bake stuff in the oven to warm up the house.
The upside of it is that I've spent a lot of time cooking. The downside is that I haven't spent a lot of time writing about it because the cold made me lazier than usual. What can I say? That's the way it is some days.
Now the situation has improved a little, although we look like we are still very far from seeing the beginning of spring. Which is sad, because I have just realized that I'm so freaking done with winter. It's funny because I actually like the winter a lot and love the snow and skiing and all. But I reach a point, and this year that point was reached today, where I just cannot stand it anymore and I desperately want to wear spring clothes, eat asparagus and zucchini and sit outdoors with the sun warm on my face. So I keep looking at the forecast and end up being annoyed when I see no signs of spring in the near future.
And while I wait for spring to come I keep munching on winter vegetables that by now have really grown old, to say the least. I can barely stand them anymore. So I try to stick them in sauces and stews like this one, my first experiment at making "meatsauce" with seitan. I'm not a vegetarian and I will never be one, but I was intrigued by the description my friend gave me of seitan and wanted to try it. Well, it makes a really good "meatsauce", believe me.
SPAGHETTI WITH MEATLESS MEATSAUCE
1/2 pound spaghetti
1 seitan patty, processed until ground
2 carrots, minced
1 onion, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
1 vegetable borth cube
1 glass red wine
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Warm olive oil in a dutch oven, add onion, carrot and celery and sautee for a few minutes, until soft. Add ground seitan, season with salt and pepper, sautee for a minute or two, then add red wine. Let cook until it's almost evaporated, add tomato sauce, water, broth cube and bay leaves and lower heat. Simmer on low for at least an hour.
Serve with spaghetti.