I’ve not blogged in ages! Been so super busy… 2 weeks in Zanzibar (saw the birth place of Freddie Mercury, yay!!! ♥) a week in Rotterdam, then rat-sitting my friends’ 16 rescue rats.
So busy in a good way ☺ and I’ve had some really good vegan friendly food whilst I’ve been at it! #noexcuses.
Anyway, sometimes when you’re super busy, you just want to grab something quick and easy for tea. Maybe something from out of the freezer or from a tin. I often fall back on the English classic of “Something, chips and beans” as I call it. Or sometimes, to introduce a bit of variety, we’ll have “something, chips and spaghetti hoops”. The “something” could be veggie sausages, a tasty pre-made pie or maybe some breaded “chickn nuggets”.
I’ll admit that I’m rather fond of tinned spaghetti hoops. I prefer generic own-brand to the market leader stuff (rhymes with “shmienz”), I think because they tend to be a little less sweet. But you have to be careful because some brands – like ASDA – are not vegan friendly and others are full of scary sounding ingredients.
However, as with most things, if you make them yourself at home you can monitor exactly what goes into them. So although I won’t pretend that this is the healthiest recipe in the world ever, I think it’s fair to say that my homemade spaghetti hoops are much better for you that the shop-bought stuff!
Obviously this recipe takes much longer than the time it takes to open a tin, but you can make up a batch in advance and keep it in the fridge. It might even freeze well too… but I have never had enough leftovers for long enough to try.
Please note that I have intentionally made this recipe so that it tastes authentic and like the stuff from a tin. If that’s not your thing then you could use more tomatoes, and fresh garlic and onion… but to be honest if you’re going to do that then you might be better off just making pasta and marinara sauce!
Homemade spaghetti hoops recipe (makes about 2 tins worth):
|200g / 1.5 cups dried pasta hoops (I found mine at the International Supermarket in Liverpool)
570g / 3 cups fresh tomatoes* (diced)
1 x veg stock cube (make sure its sfv!)
3 x cups water
1 x tsp salt
2 x tsp sugar
½ x tsp garlic powder
½ x tsp onion granules
½ x tsp paprika (I used smoked as it was all I had – it worked!)
1 x tsp nutritional yeast (optional but inspired by the cheese powder included in some brands)
3 x tsp cornflour dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water
*make sure you use nice, fresh, tasty tomatoes! If you end up using watery-rubbish ones, you may find you need to add a tablespoon of tomato puree to the sauce to make up for it.
Cook the pasta hoops according to the instructions on the packet. For authenticity you may want to slightly overcook the pasta to make it go extra soft (don’t do this if you plan on re-heating).
In a medium-sized pan, add the diced tomatoes, stock cube and water. Put over the hob and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes (or until the volume has reduced by about half).
Add the salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion granules and paprika. Stir well and leave simmering for a further 5 minutes.
Take off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast before blending until smooth with a hand blender (you can use a food blender if you prefer). Take care not to spray hot sauce over yourself!
Whisk in the cornflour-water mixture and put back on the heat whilst continually whisking. Heat until the sauce is thick and opaque.
Stir in the cooked pasta and heat until piping hot.
I served mine with some purple veg casserole and a freshly baked bread roll (which just so happened to have a melting Violife “cheese” centre).