Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Pasta in A Mushroom Sauce with Steamed Spiralised Courgette and Tender Stem Broccoli.

When my ‘to do’ list seems to grow every day (despite my best efforts to get it all done), instead of diminishing, I turn to pasta.

It’s so easy, so versatile … and well …so amenable.

And there’s such a fabulous variety of vegan, and sometimes gluten-free pasta easily available now….here’s the one I used today : gluten-free, green pea pasta, made in Italy.

What could be better?

There’s been a fuss in the UK media lately, because it’s been suggested that we increase our vegetable consumption from 5 portions a day, to 10.  For the sake of our health.  You’d think the sky had caved in the way some people have been talking.   Obviously, for vegans this doesn’t present a problem.  Because we couldn’t really manage without at least 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, could we?

So, back to the pasta.  I’ve really been loving how easy it is to make beautiful pasta sauces with vegetables.  I’ve done a few now.

Today, it’s the turn of mushrooms.

But before I go any further, I also want to mention that I’ve got myself a new gadget.  A spiraliser.   And despite my general suspicion of a lot of kitchen gadgets, I think I’m liking this one.

So here is a ‘5 portions of vegetables in one’ quick and easy recipe, that’s full of the joys of spring!

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Pea Pasta in a Mushroom Sauce on a bed of spiralised steamed Courgette served with steamed tender-stem Broccoli, fresh herbs and a handful of rocket.

For 2

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Pasta in A Mushroom Sauce with Steamed Spiralised Courgette and Tender Stem Broccoli.”

Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Pasta in an Avocado Sauce.

Pasta lends itself to simple ideas, and here’s one that’s so simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before 🙂

This superfoody dish takes minutes to prepare and, like all these sauces, is adaptable according to taste.

Try leaving out the spring onions and adding a chopped sweet green pepper.  Add herbs such as basil and parsley to the mix. Add more chillies for a real chilli hit….

pasta with an avocado sauce

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Avo Sauce for Pasta

For 2

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Pasta in an Avocado Sauce.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

Pasta in a cream pea sauce.

This is one of the quickest and simplest recipes anyone could wish for.

I often think that any meal, vegan or otherwise, is all about the sauce.

So here’s a recipe for a vegan pasta sauce that is very versatile and supremely adaptable.

I’ve used frozen peas, but try steamed broccoli, or sautéed mushrooms, carrots cooked in vegan butter or blanched spinach.  Just replace the peas with about 200 gms. of another vegetable, cooked appropriately, and blended with the cream.

Flavourings may vary too: basil… paprika…nutmeg …to name but a few.

You could also use something else instead of the mushrooms…e.g. steamed asparagus, baby broad beans or just a handful of pitted olives.

It really is that easy… use what you have to hand. Italian style.

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Today I’ve used some fancy, gluten-free and very delicious, red lentil pasta that I happened upon, but any pasta will do, particularly penne or fusilli …..

I’m also in love with ‘Oatly’ at the moment : cream, crême frâiche and of course, milk.

All available in some UK supermarkets now.  Which is fab.

For this recipe I use the oat cream, but unsweetened soy cream will do just as well.

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PASTA IN A CREAM PEA SAUCE

with sautéed mushrooms

Serves 2

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Pasta in a cream pea sauce.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Mushroom and Spinach Cannelloni in a Creamy Asparagus Sauce.

This is a delicious combination.

I have been very lucky this week.  I have an allotment big enough to grow lots of vegetables. However, I don’t have an asparagus bed… but one of my neighbouring allotmenters has gone on holiday, and asked me to pick (and use) all the asparagus that grows in his asparagus bed for a whole week …. 🙂 and it grows very fast!

I am, apparently, doing him a favour, because you need to keep picking it for more asparagus to grow.  Unexpectedly, I therefore have a barrow-load of asparagus on my hands, which most of us can only ever dream of!  Makes me think I must must MUST cultivate an asparagus bed…

So.  I guess its asparagus week. 🙂

and there’s more to come !

This recipe does use a lot of asparagus, which, if you don’t have and don’t want to buy, can be largely replaced with broccoli or cauliflower.  It’s incredibly delicious either which way….even though I say so myself !  Savoury, rich and creamy.  There’s a bit of faff involved, but here’s how to minimise it:

When people talk about filling cannelloni tubes, they usually mention spoons, spatulas and  piping bags, suggestions which, as far as I’m concerned increase the faff ten-fold, and invoke a stream of vows never to do cannelloni again. Ever.  Ridiculous idea. Filling a cannelloni tube with a spoon?  Impossible!  What were the Italians thinking of?????

So, my suggestion is to use your hands.  When the filling mix is cool enough to handle, wash your hands (goes without saying 🙂 ) and then plunge a cannelloni tube into the filling mix and just push the filling into the tube with your fingers.  Repeat until all tubes are filled.  Works a treat! ;O)

Hope you enjoy.

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MUSHROOM AND SPINACH CANNELLONI IN AN ASPARAGUS SAUCE

for 4 -6

Ingredients: Continue reading “Mushroom and Spinach Cannelloni in a Creamy Asparagus Sauce.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

Spaghetti con una crema di Broccoli

Spaghetti, Broccoli and Peas in a Broccoli Sauce.

Light, fresh, mellow, earthy, full of the flavours of Italy…. Garlic, Basil, Pepper and Sage.  When I conceived of this dish, I expected to add soy or oat cream to the sauce, but I think using all the broccoli stalks added a creaminess to the sauce that needed nothing extra.  So.. no cream… just creaminess….!

Let me know what you think?

I love the idea of vegetables in a sauce using the same vegetable…I’ve done it before with peas, and also with cauliflower.  It works somehow…..

A word for protein… not only does broccoli contain protein but also immune strengthening minerals and powerful anti-oxidants.  To complete the protein picture of this dish I added 3 tsps. of hemp powder, which contains all the amino-acids needed.  It enhances the mellow earthiness of the broccoli and the sage… and is abundantly healthy!

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SPAGHETTI CON UNA CREMA DI BROCCOLI

for 3-4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Spaghetti con una crema di Broccoli”

All About Beans, Bread, Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Soups, Vegan

Tuscan Bean and Pasta Soup + Olive and Herb Focaccia.

In the last few days I’ve been getting a few seedlings going.  Tomatoes, chillies and sweet peppers.  A gardener always lives in hope.  Spring here in the UK is being erratic, and we are waiting for Storm Katie as I write.

Making this soup has made me remember how delicious home-grown tomatoes are.  I can’t wait.

The bread is easy, and adaptable, instead of olives you can add sun-dried tomatoes, sliced artichoke hearts or diced spring onions….

olive focaccia and tuscan bean soup

TUSCAN BEAN AND PASTA SOUP + OLIVE AND HERB FOCACCIA

Serves 4   

Olive and Herb Focaccia:    Continue reading “Tuscan Bean and Pasta Soup + Olive and Herb Focaccia.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

Pasta with a Watercress and Tofu Sauce + Sautéed Mushrooms.

Went to the local market last weekend and bought bunches of fresh watercress, some beautiful mustard greens and a selection of fresh mushrooms.

Simple good quality ingredients need simple cooking.  Which is how this dish came about.

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pasta with a tofu and watercress sauce + sautéed mushrooms

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PASTA IN A TOFU AND WATERCRESS SAUCE + SAUTEED MUSHROOMS + MUSTARD GREENS 

for 2

Continue reading “Pasta with a Watercress and Tofu Sauce + Sautéed Mushrooms.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Quick Suppers

Stuffed Mushrooms on a bed of Tagliatelle in a Spicy Tomato Sauce, + Wild Rocket.

Yet another inspiration from Italy…

….there’s little doubt, that of the whole of Europe, Italy provides much scope recipe-wise, from a vegan point of view.  Greece perhaps comes a close second.

Here’s a lovely combination -which can be had separately or together.

It’s a nice recipe because much of the faff (not a lot btw), can be done in advance…and at your leisure.

The tomato sauce, and the stuffing for the mushrooms can both be made up to 24 hours beforehand.  Which leaves you with not that much to do when you’re feeling hungry!

and btw…. the stuffing contains walnuts…which contain omega-3 …gotta be good! 

stuffed mushrooms with a tomato tagliatelle sauce

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STUFFED MUSHROOMS IN A TOMATO TAGLIATELLE SAUCE

For 2

Continue reading “Stuffed Mushrooms on a bed of Tagliatelle in a Spicy Tomato Sauce, + Wild Rocket.”