Moldavian Braised Vegetable Sauce (VEGETARIAN cuisine) for pasta,rice,eggplant,etc.

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which guy says:

Would anyone still have the braising schedule he puts? I think he wrote them in annotations which youtube got rid of 🙁 i remember making this ages ago and loving it

Confusion Of The Highest Orda says:

The inspiration for this sauce is zacuscă?

ShinyBorel says:



In case you are wondering, Transylvanian cuisine is quite different. No – not freshly sucked blood! Transylvania has large communities of Germans and Hungarians living there, and the food is more about smoked meats and a lot of sweet and sour type of dishes that are distinct.


Moldova is the poorest country in all of Europe, and their cuisine reflects this. They make use of what grows locally and treat it with care to extract every bit of flavor possible. This is undoubtedly why the cuisine resembles poor regions of Italy.



750g (26 1/2 oz) Tomatoes, fresh

200g (7 oz) Celery Root, also known as celeriac

200g (7 oz) Onion

90g (3oz) Red Bell Pepper

1 Chili Pepper, small red

4 Garlic cloves

22g (3/4 oz) Parsley, fresh flat-leaf

Paprika, salt, sugar


Olive Oil

250g (8 3/4 oz) Tomato Sauce (boxed tomato purée)

1/4 C of Basil, fresh

120mL (4 oz) Red Wine, dry and strong

30ml (1 oz) Cognac, preferably from Moldova


Cook pasta such as linguini about 90% through, then finish cooking it in this Moldavian Braised Vegetable Sauce and top with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Fresh made linguini is even better, if you don't mind making the pasta yourself.


The first step is to peel the tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water. Since this sauce is not strained (don't strain it – you will lose most of the vegetables) – if you don't take the time to peel the tomatoes, your finished sauce will have stringy wads of tomato skin that are unpleasant.



Do NOT purée! You want to end up with small diced pieces.


First 1 1/2 hours: 130°C (265°F)

Then 1 1/2 hours more at 180°C (350°F)

Finally 45 minutes at 200°C (400°F)


The reason is that you are mimicking the type of old furnace that would be used to cook this as it gradually got hotter.


Begin by adding just enough out of the 250g of the tomato purée (passata) to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. DO NOT STIR IT.


The lid will prevent splattering, as you can see.




The sauce can now be refrigerated and used any time in the next couple of days. As stated earlier, this works well with pasta as a vegetarian dish that most people will think has meat.

This also makes an interesting Moldavian variation of Eggplant Parmesan.

Jackson Sawatzky says:

Does anybody remember the time / temperature for the braise schedule? I love this recipe; unfortunately it is one of the few without detailed instruction in the books!

BravingTheOutDoors says:

So here’s what I honestly think after making it.
It’s very tasty.
Would definitely make it again and again and would highly recommend it to vegetarians.
You got me interested so I’m going to buy your book on vegetarian food to understand the technique further.

But… I’m an avid meat eater. I essentially eat meat every day not just for the flavour but also because I don’t feel full without it.
So, I can’t speak from the perspective of a vegetarian because clearly I’m not and whenever vegetarians say things like “mushrooms are meaty” I’m thinking “Umm… they’re really not”.
I definitely didn’t feel anything “meaty” in the sense that it can compete with actual meat but I understand why it would qualify as “being more meaty” for vegetarians.

Lulu G says:

One of the best sauce recipes I've ever seen. Wow.

nathan haines says:

are tomorrow sharks not available in Russian?

joanna Ou Mallon says:

How good is this ?
Hmm lets see
I almost reproduced myself with this meal!!!

shair00 says:

this is a recipe that captured my heart when i was the biggest carnivore i ever knew. my own mother thought a miracle had happened when I told her I loved a vegetarian dish. You might be a drop in the ocean now, but as I have seen, that drop will grow into a wave as time goes by…..and it was only the first part of a recipe that became even better…..

Matt Griffith says:

Chef, what you are doing here represents the very best of all that the internet has to offer.

Just made this sauce. It is indescribably good. Followed it near verbatim, except that I was a little light on the celeriac and basil; I used a serrano for the chile pepper; and I used brandy in lieu of cognac (because I'm a peasant).

This fall, when chili season starts back up, I think I'll add a big splash of this sauce to the chili pot. Can't wait. In the meantime, I want to take another run at this and spice it up with some crushed chile petins.

silabag1 says:

Same quantity? Heh! Living in paradise does have it's drawbacks sometimes. They used to have commercial celery farms about an hour west of here in Benzonia, MI at the turn of the century. Thought I would share that useless fact this morning.

silabag1 says:

I meant celery root

silabag1 says:

Chef I have a huge problem finding celery, in fact I cannot find it within a 45 mile radius from here. What any anything can I substitute to make this sauce?

Jake’s shop and track talk 1 says:

Chef does your cocktail book cover wine? If not can volume 3 cover it? I aka beer drinker I know next to nothing about wine. I suppose there are magazines but magazines are not only opinion based, but they are advertiser influenced. I am on t even a foodie per say, but cooking is a lot of fun, so I do it.

Runar Tvålfager says:

Is the lid a must, and could aluminium foil substitute for the lid in a pinch?

shair00 says:

Chef…..we have to get more people to view this recipe. one of your recipes has 70k plus views and deserves even more than that……but this recipe is honestly the best vegetarian dish I have ever tasted, and I want many to try this…..

shair00 says:

one more thing…..I know 30 grams is an ounce BUT I found a scale on Amazon for 12 dollars that measures in grams and ml. So this allows me to be lazy lol

shair00 says:

I thought I would share with your readers that when peeling the tomato's make sure the water is VERY hot. I did not get the water hot enough and had to pull them out, turn up the heat and start over. my question to you chef. Sometimes it only takes about 10 seconds in the boiling water and sometimes up to a minute. Why is that? Thanks a million Chef.

shair00 says:

Celeriac is about 6 dollars per root here. I went across the street to a store called spouts and it was listed as 3 dollars per root. When the cashier rung it up, he charged me 1.70 per pound, so I picked up 3 more and it came up to about price. I paid 6 dollars for three celeriac at sprouts and it would have been the same price for only 1 at Frys. Thought I would share some of my good luck lol

Ismail FIKRI says:

third time that I cook this sauce. I just love it !
Tho am having issue with my roommate because of the cooking time it takes; he is freaking out from the electricity bill … argh !

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