Sundays mean family gatherings, relaxation and subsequently, at least for me, going over the recommended daily caloric intake like a true cavone. Usually gravy is involved.
Truth be told, I do not miss the myriad of meat that traditionally goes in to such a preparation. You see, I have been relying on this protein-rich alternative for some time and for me, it just hits the spot.
It’s sort of like Francesca’s Quick Gravy only thicker and with more nutritional value.
-medium sauce pan
-coo-cha(d) aka wooden spoon
-1/1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
-1/4 cup pipe punch (h2o)
-1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1 tsp Gravy Master (vegetarian brown gravy concentrate)
-1, 6 oz. can of tomato paste
-4 tbs of olive oil (1/2 and then 1/2)
-2 pinches of salt
-2 pinches of sugar
-18 oz. of water (3 tomato paste cans, refilled with water)
-2 shakes of garlic powder
-1 shake crushed red pepper flakes
-1 dash of nice red wine
-3 shakes dry oregano
-3 shakes dry parsley (or 2 sprigs fresh)
-2 shakes dry basil (or 2 fresh leaves)
-sea salt/fresh cracked black pepper to taste
In medium sauce pan heat olive oil on medium-high heat (hot pan, cold oil).
Sautée until translucent, season with salt to release moisture. Stir in TVP and garlic, re-season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in gravy master (for “meat color”) blending evenly with cucchia(d) before adding water to rehydrate. This should look like crumbled beef. Add some oregano and taste.
Raise heat to high and spread the “meat” along the edges, clearing a hole in middle of the pan. Add remaining olive oil to center and allow it to heat up.
Scoop tomato paste into pan and begin to “fry” it in the oil. Attempt to smooth it out by stirring constantly, incorporating the “meat” into the mix.
Add one pinch of salt and continue to fry until it just begins to start loosing it’s bright red color. Add a dash of wine and allow the alcohol to cook off (giving the gravy body).
Lower heat to medium and slowly pour water from first can of tomato paste, stirring all the while.
Allow the mixture to re-thicken with the heat (still stirring) and add remaining herbs and seasonings.
Add second can of water and allow to reduce, stirring constantly. Repeat this process with remaining water until it yields thick, savory gravy. Allow to cook for 30 minutes to 2 hours (the longer the better).
Yields about 2 cups of gravy. Best served over any form of macaroni, in lasagna (recipe forthcoming) or anything that requires marvelousness.