I had a long(ish) run to do on Saturday morning, so that was as good an excuse as any to have spaghetti the night before. Unfortunately, The Meat Eater didn’t look at his phone and get my ‘can you get some spaghetti when you go to Tesco please’ text, so I had to improvise and have half spaghetti and half pasta shapes.
The lentil and tomato sauce was a tad too bland for me and my lack of tastebuds, so I improved it by covering it in cheese and Encona Hot Pepper Sauce.
A quick and easy dish, with ingredients that you’ll probably already have in (if you haven’t run out of spaghetti).
3 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 large garlic clove, crushed 400g can chopped tomatoes 1/2 tsp dried basil or oregano 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon 225g split red lentils 425ml water 2 tbsp red wine (optional) salt and freshly ground black pepper 225g spaghetti grated Parmesan-style cheese, to serve (optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, with a lid on the pan, until tender (about 10 minutes).
Stir in the garlic, then add the tomatoes, herbs, cinnamon, lentils, water and wine (if using) and bring to the boil.
Simmer the mixture with a lid on the saucepan for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Shortly before the lentils are done, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling, salted water until just tender, then drain thoroughly in a colander.
Tip the drained spaghetti back into the still-hot saucepan, and add the remaining oil and some freshly ground black pepper.
Add the sauce to the spaghetti, mix gently and serve. Or, if you prefer, serve the spaghetti on warm plates and top with the sauce.
Oh blimey, it’s courgette season again. This means weeks of courgette soup and stuffed courgettes. Just as well I like courgettes then, eh?
I found this recipe in Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian and what I liked most about it is that I already had all of the ingredients (or variations of them), which saved me a trip to the supermarket and which kind of makes it a free meal.
It was fab. It was so fab, The Meat Easter has insisted I make it twice this week. Suits me.
I served it with fresh broad beans and new potatoes.
Stuffed courgettes with mushrooms (serves 4)
4 large courgettes
1 garlic clove
175g button mushrooms
125g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for greasing
25g-50g grated Gruyére or Parmesan-style cheese
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Parboil the courgettes for 5 minutes, then slice in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh. Mash the courgette flesh. Place the courgette shells side by side in an oiled ovenproof dish.
Crush the garlic, slice the tomatoes and mushrooms, and fry lightly in the butter until tender, then mix with half the breadcrumbs, the mashed courgette centres, the lemon juice and rind, parsley and some salt and pepper.
Pile the mixture into the prepared courgettes, place in a shallow oiled ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the rest of the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
A cookbook I haven’t used for a while is Vegetarian Express by Rose Elliot so I had a flick through it yesterday looking for inspiration for this week’s soup and came across a recipe for spinach and potato soup.
It was very nice.
And very green.
Ingredients (serves 5) 1 small onion, chopped 400g spinach 400g potatoes, diced 1400ml vegetable stock 1 tbsp olive oil Ground nutmeg salt and pepper
Fry the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes
Add the potato and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the spinach and press down, stirring occasionally until it softens and wilts, about 5 minutes
Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the potato is tender
Remove from heat, add nutmeg, salt & pepper and blend