Recipe: Pasticada - a vegan version

December 08, 2008

Is there a better way to start a new blog than by posting a tasty festive recipe? I cannot think of any!

To begin with; pasticada is a traditional meal in Dalmatia, part of Croatia (it's in Europe - do your geography :). It's usually prepared with meat, and takes lots of time (two days for preparation - ohlala), but it could be prepared as a tasty sauce itself and accompany with gnocchi or corn porridge.

Pasticada is remarkable for it's rather cheap, but healthy ingredients that make very specific combination of tastes. It's ingredients are fairly cheap, but the meal itself is fancy and a bit exotic.

Here's what you'll need to cook pasticada :
  • tomatoes - 800 g (or 28 ounces) if it's not a season it's best to use those from a can
  • carrots - 2 medium size
  • onion - 2 medium size, but you can use less if you want
  • dried plums (prunes) - 100 g (or 3,5 ounces)
  • garlic - a little bit
  • olive oil - few tablespoons
  • salt
  • pepper
  • spices - it's best to use some of the green spices like laurel, thyme, parsley... in short anything herbal, spicy, mediterranean
  • red wine and/or vinegar - few drops (i didn't use it this time, but you can if you like it's taste)
Chop the tomatoes, onions, dried plums and garlic. Slice the carrots, better thinner than wider.
Put olive oil in a cooking bowl, and put on a low heat. Add garlic, and after a minute or two add onion. It's good to add salt and pepper already now as salt helps softening the onions. After the onions soften a little bit, say 2-3 minutes, add carrots and plums, and cook until the carrots get at least bit softy, that could be further 5 minutes or so. Than, add the tomatoes and all other spices. Have water close to add.

You'll probably be cooking this for another 25 minutes or so; you simply must taste it to see if it's good. The taste of the sauce depends on how long you cook it, so you decide if it's over or not.

As a side dish I used grilled soy stakes with chopped garlic and olive oil, arugula salad and corn porridge. All of those you can easily prepare while the pasticada is still cooking.


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