I love reading about food history, and this is a cool story. Cacciatore is Italian for “hunter” but typically made with chicken—so what’s the connection there? Well, if the hunting party was unsuccessful they would kill a chicken and make a stew with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers and red wine.
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Time: About 15 minutes active; 75 minutes total
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium pepper, cut into strips and halved
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 2–3″ pieces and halved diagonally
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
6 ounces baked tofu, preferably Italian flavored
28 ounces canned tomatoes, if whole break up with your hands
1/2 cup red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces pasta, I used vermicelli
1. In a large skillet or pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Add carrots, mushrooms and tofu and cook 5 minutes more.
2. Add tomatoes, red wine, sage, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook one hour until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce is fragrant. Depending on how you like your sauce, you may want to turn the heat back up to medium and boil some of the liquid off before serving—about 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
3. When about 20 minutes are left, heat a second pot of water with 1/2 tablespoon salt. When it comes to a boil, drop in pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the pasta. Drain.
4. To serve, put equal amounts of pasta in each bowl and top with cacciatore. Garnish with chopped sage and red pepper flakes.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food, and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and above all, tasty, lifestyle.