Monday, 28 November 2011

Mushrooms Stuffed with Aubergine and Black-Eyed Beans

4 flat mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
dried herbs (e. g. oregano, basil)
1 tin of organic black-eyed beans
2 tbsp. tomato purée
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

1. Wipe the mushrooms and remove the stalks. Coarsely chop the stalks.

2. Using a speed peeler cut a stripe of skin off two opposite sides of the aubergine. Cut the aubergine lengthways in 5 mm thick slices and chop into small chunks.

3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the aubergines and mushroom stalks until they begin to brown. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

4. Heat a little olive oil in the same pan and sautée the onion, garlic and chilli until softened. Add the aubergines, and beans. Season with pepper and salt.

5. Using just over half of the vegetables fill the mushrooms.

6. Add the tomato purée to the remaining vegetables and transfer the mix into a roasting tray. Sit the mushrooms on top. Cover with tin foil and bake at gas mark 6/200 °C for 30 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked.

Serve with mustard mash or warm crusty bread.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Vegetarian Carbonara with Courgette

I can't believe that in all my years as a vegetarian/pescatarian I never tried this. But it's never too late and this is going to be a firm favourite from now on. Also, I've substitued the spaghetti with fettucine and, OMG, this is luxury comfort food!!!!

Normally my pasta to veg ratio is about 50:50 but here the pasta definitely domintates so it's a great idea to have a salad on the side, as a starter or afterwards.

This recipe serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter.

200-250 g fettucine
1 large or 2 medium courgettes
2 medium eggs
50 g parmesan, grated
1 garlic clove
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook the fettucine in salted water according to packet instructions.

2. Using a speed peeler remove the skin on two opposite sides of the courgette, slice the courgette lengthways into 4 strips and julienne. Crush the garlic clove with a knife - no need to peel it.

3. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and courgettes and sauté the courgettes until browned. Remove the garlic.

4. Beat the eggs, season with pepper and salt and add about half the parmesan.

5. Warm a large bowl with boiling water. Empty and dry. Drain the pasta keeping some of the cooking liquor. Pour the pasta into the bowl, add the courgettes and slowly pour in the the egg-cheese mix using tongs to mix without scrambling the eggs. Add a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquor from the spagetti to make the dish more moist but not wet.

6. Serve immediately in heated plates sprinkled with the remaining parmesan.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Thrice Cooked Tomato Sauce

You need:
vine tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
salt, optional
demerrara sugar
dried oregano or basil
extra virgin olive oil

Halve the tomatoes and sauté cut side down for a few minutes in an non-stick pan until browned - try not to disturb them during this time.

Place cut-side up into a roasting tray, season with pepper (and optionally salt), sprinkle with oregano, demerrara sugar and finely julienned garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and cook at 200° C/gas mark 5 for about 45 minutes or until softened.

Leave to cool, then remove the skins, chop the tomatoes and transfer everything (juice included) into a heavy saucepan, e.g. Le Creuset. Simmer for at least an hour until the sauce has thickened. Check the seasoning and serve.