Of all the pasta shapes in the world, which do you think is the worst, and why is it always angel hair? Meant to approximate the gossamer-thin strands of hair that only an angel could boast, such a divine name is entirely antithetical to its behavior on the plate. Let cooked noodles sit for just a second too long and all hell will break loose. Suddenly, those golden threads transform into bloated, tangled knots of dough. Gummy, gluey, supersaturated with sauce, it’s like they never even knew the term “al dente.”
Angel hair, AKA capellini, has never been my first choice. Nor would it be my second, third, fourth… I think you get the picture. It barely even registers on my hierarchy of pasta, and yet, I recently ended up with a box in my pantry. My trusty pasta maker went down at exactly the same time there was an apparent pasta shortage in local stores, so my choice was angel hair or nothing. Out of desperation, I said my prayers and tried to trust in fate.
One benefit to angel hair is that it does cook quickly; even more quickly than most manufacturers suggest. Start testing it after one minute at a full boil, leaving it on the heat for no longer than two. Then, overall success depends entirely on not just draining out the hot liquid, but then rinsing it in cold water. While this would be a sin for most noodles, stripping away the excess starch necessary for making rich sauces that cling as a velvety coating, it’s a sacrifice we must make for preserving any toothsome texture.
General advice is to pair angel hair with only the lightest, most delicate of sauces, such as pesto or plain olive oil. I’m sorry, but is an eternity in heaven supposed to be this boring? If we have to eat angel hair, I think it’s time we embrace a more devilish approach.
Seitan is the obvious protein of choice; what else is as wickedly savory, heart, and downright decadent in the right sauce? Speaking of which, this one is scant, just barely coating each strand while cranking up the flavor to full blast. There’s no need to drown the noodles in a watered-down dressing when this concentrated, fiery seasoning mix does the trick. Spiked with gochujang and smoked paprika, it glows a demonic shade of red, balancing out heat with nuanced flavor.
To embrace angel hair is to accept a more fiendish path to salvation. Don’t be afraid; a little seitan worship never hurt anyone.
- 8 Ounces Angel Hair Pasta, Cooked Al Dente and Rinsed in Cold Water
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 8 Ounces Seitan, Chopped, Sliced, or Shredded
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Gochujang
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, Minced
- Vegan Parmesan (Optional)
- Once cooked, rinsed, and thoroughly drained, set the angel hair pasta aside.
- Set a medium pan over medium heat and warm the olive oil. Add the seitan and saute until lightly browned; 4 - 5 minutes Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until aromatic.
- Mix in the nutritional yeast, gochujang, tomato pasta, vinegar, paprika, and salt. Stir vigorously to incorporate smoothly and coat all the seitan. Once fully combined, deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock, stirring well. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the pasta into the sauce along with the cilantro and basil, tossing to coat. Divide between plates and top with vegan Parmesan, if desired. Enjoy immediately!
Substitute gluten-free angel hair to accommodate diners with celiac disease.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1119mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 27g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.