Let Pasta Paruski comfort you on a cold day without putting a chill on your budget. The flavors from this Russian-style pasta come from my first and still adored cookbook: The Vegetarian Epicure. In it, Anna Thomas gives her recipe for Russian Vegetable Pie. I've made this pie for Thanksgiving and other winter feasts dozens of times. The sauce for Pasta Paruski is inspired by one layer of her pie, which mixes cabbage with marjoram, thyme, and basil. I added celery, garlic, nooch, and pasta water to create a creamy mac-and-cheese experience. Roasted beets on top add color, flavor, and an extra boost of Russian goodness. A big bowl of thrifty, creamy Pasta Paruski might even make Raskolnikov smile!
Pasta Paruski Recipe
Active time: 12 minutes. Total time: 12 minutes. Yield: 2 servings. Vegan, dairy-free, low fat. Gluten-free if served on gluten-free pasta, buckwheat, teff, rice, or potatoes.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 1/2 cups rotini, fusilli, or similar pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped green cabbage (185 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (nooch)
- 1 medium roasted beet for garnish (optional)
- Mince garlic and set aside. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Chop onion and celery, adding to the skillet as you go. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
- Cook pasta with salt and enough water to cover pasta in a medium pot. (See Cooking Pasta in Very Little Water in Wildly Affordable Organic for the best results.)
- Chop cabbage and walnuts and stir into onion mixture. When pasta is tender yet a bit firm, drain water into a heat-safe container such as a Pyrex measuring cup. Cover pot with lid and let rest off the heat so pasta stays warm without burning. Stir 1/2 cup pasta water into vegetables. Add herbs and nutritional yeast. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cut cooked beet into bite-sized pieces if using.
- To serve, toss pasta with vegetables. Top with beet.
- Add body to your pasta dishes by mixing in water saved from boiling the pasta. It helps sauce stick to the noodles and adds creaminess without fat.
- For a gluten-free option, serve this sauce on cooked farro.
- Play "Yes, and ..." with the toppings for this dish. If you don't have a roasted beet on hand, use pickled beets, roasted carrots or sweet potatoes, chopped olives, or other colorful garnishes. In a pinch, make croutons by toasting a crust of bread.
- Many foodies sneer (yes, sneer!) at dried herbs, particularly dried basil. While it is no match to the Queen of Herbs in her summer glory, dried basil brings a floral note to this dish and many winter pasta sauces. Don't be ashamed to use it.