Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes is a cookbook designed to help you cook delicious money-saving vegetarian meals. Nicola covers what you should keep in your storecupboard and tips on getting the most out of your freezer, along with hints on foraging and growing your own veg.
The recipes are divided into eight chapters: basics and accompaniments, tin of beans (and other pulses), pack of pasta (and noodles), sack of rice (and other grains), bag of nuts (and seeds), carton of eggs, slice of cheese (and other dairy) and box of veg. There are plenty of full-page colour photographs to accompany lots of the dishes.
You needn’t worry the recipes are all basic though – take this linguine carbonara with crispy capers for example that I made last night. Beautifully rich and creamy (my capers didn’t go crispy though).
Linguine Carbonara With Crispy Capers (serves 4)
400g dried linguine
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp bottled capers, drained, rinsed and patted dry
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, deseeded and diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g vegetarian Parmesan cheese, grated
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp chopped oregano leaves or 2 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta following the pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the capers, turn the heat down slightly and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Add the butter to the pan and when melted, stir in the tomatoes and garlic and cook for 3 minutes until softened, taking care that the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Mix three-quarters of the vegetarian Parmesan into the beaten eggs. When the pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer it to the frying pan and reserve the pasta water. Take the frying pan off the heat and quickly pour in the egg mixture. Using tongs, turn the linguine so it becomes evenly coated in the egg mixture, which should thicken without scrambling. Add 2-4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water, if needed, to keep the pasta moist and to give a glossy sauce. Serve seasoned with pepper and sprinkled with the remaining vegetarian Parmesan and oregano.