In this #penumbracookclub entry, I'll introduce another new vegan series of collars: our "sugarpeel" collection.

When I first thought about these collars and the possible inspiration they could give me, one picture immediately came to mind.

Do you remember the scene from "Lady and the Tramp" where the dogs eat spaghetti with meatballs? Lady wore a blue collar, and while it didn't have a bow like ours do, this collar just seemed like a perfect match to me.


By the way, random knowledge: Did you know that Walt Disney wanted to cut the whole spaghetti-scene out of the movie? He thought that, while the dogs should have human emotions, fine dining would be taking it too far. Today it's one of the best known Disney movie scenes and often referred to as one of the most romantic ones.


However, back to the topic: By now, you might wonder why I'm talking about Lady and the Tramp while the title of this entry says Gilmore Girls. Let me explain!

I grew up watching the Gilmore Girls on TV. It was one of my favorite shows when I was younger. Today, it's similar to eating comfort food, but with fewer calories. Whenever I'm down or feeling too stressed, Lorelai and Rory cheer me up with their adventures and struggles.

It's also one of my guilty pleasures: to cuddle up with a thick blankie, some hot chocolate, and cookies, and binge-watch the Gilmore Girls for an evening.

I guess that led me to instantly link "Lady and the Tramp" with Rory and Deans' 3-month anniversary date. Rory was instructed by her mom to bring home a meatball from the fancy restaurant she was invited to.

Wow, it’s gonna be just like Lady and the Tramp. You’ll share a plate of spaghetti, but it’ll just be one long strand, but you won’t realize it until you accidentally meet in the middle. And then he’ll push a meatball towards you with his nose, and you’ll push it back with your nose, and then you’ll bring the meatball home, and you’ll save it in the refrigerator for years and . . .

Lorelai to Rory; S1 E16

And while the outcome of the date wasn't too pleasant (and Rory forgot the meatball...), the Gilmore Girls theme will be present throughout the whole recipes I'll do for the "sugarpeel"-series of the #penumbracookclub project. Plus, of course, there was a happy end a while later.

For the first entry linked to this series, we're, of course, doing spaghetti with vegan meatballs. This is a more complicated recipe than the ones before, but oh so worth it!


And now enough with the talking, here's the recipe:

It serves 4 people


Spaghetti:

200 g durum wheat flour

200 g Italian wheat flour Tipo 00

2 tbsp olive oil

about 160 - 200 g of water


You don't need to make your own noodles. I just find it so satisfying, plus I really love that work, but store-bought pasta will work just as well!


Mix all the ingredients together and knead well. Start with using a little less of the water and add more slowly if needed. The dough shouldn't feel dry, but it should not get sticky.

When you're finished kneading, wrap the dough in clingfilm and let rest for about an hour at room temperature. It will make shaping your pasta much easier!


Now comes the part that is much easier when you own a pasta machine. I love mine so much - I can't even remember the last time I bought pre-made pasta. However, it works with just a rolling pin and a pizza cutter as well.


Roll out the dough to your desired thickness and cut it into strips. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube, so check there if you need more information.

I learned a lot about pasta making from Jamie Olivers Channel, especially from the videos he did with Gennaro Contaldo.


Keep in mind: fresh homemade pasta will need much less time to cook than dried one. It depends on the thickness you choose, but usually, 2-3 minutes are enough.


Vegan meatballs:

Even if you don't want to cook the whole spaghetti recipe, I highly recommend these! They are just amazing <3


90 g spelt rice

125 g cooked kidney beans (you can use canned ones)

50 g spelt flakes

60 g tomato paste

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

30 g shredded flaxseed

olive oil

paprika powder

salt

pepper

cumin

oregano


You can substitute the spelt rice and flakes with any other type of grain if you want to.


Wash the spelt rice and cook it in twice as much water until soft. Treat it like regular rice: bring the water to a boil, add the spelt, cover, and let simmer on low heat. This takes about 20-25 minutes.

Roast the garlic and onion in some olive oil until they are soft and translucent.

Drain the beans if you use canned ones, and let them drip off.


Once all the ingredients are prepared, put them in a bowl and mash them with a fork until you have a rough paste. Add seasonings that suit your taste; I used salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and oregano.


Form little meatballs and roast them in a pan with some olive oil until brown and crispy.


Spaghetti sauce:


150 g spring onions

4 big cloves of garlic

300 g pumpkin meat

400 g tomatoes (ideally beef tomatoes)

10 g olive oil

white wine

60 g tomato paste

oregano

thyme

salt

pepper


Preheat the oven to 175°C. Cut the veggies and roast them in a big, oven-safe pan. Use a generous swig of white wine to deglaze, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme. Add a bit of water and put the pan into the oven for about 30-45 minutes until they look slightly roasted.


Now, take the pan out of the oven and put it back on the stovetop. Mix the veggies with the tomato paste, add another generous swig of your wine and bring to a simmer again.

In the meantime, cook your spaghetti. If your veggie sauce seems to dry, you can add a bit of the spaghetti cooking water to it.

When al dente, add the noodles to the pan and let them rest there for a few minutes. This infuses some of the flavors into the noodles and makes them extra tasty!


You're now ready to plate your spaghetti, don't forget to add the meatballs ;)