Vegetarian Love

Friday, 8 April 2011

So this is a little post for my lovely friend Sarah. She wanted some vegetarian recipes, and even though I am certainly no vegetarian – I do find myself cooking with meat very seldom. It’s only really when eating out that I might have some – but again that big fat steak with béarnaise sauce is not high up on my list – unless I’m at HQ, of course.

So, my favourite vegetarian dishes to cook are risottos (surprise, surprise!) – in the Risotto 101 post you will find a detailed explanation of how to make the perfect basic risotto and nice ideas to add in here are:

  • Asparagus
  • Lemon
  • Mint


  • Mushroom
  • Leek
  • Diced potato


  • Artichokes
  • Lemon
  • Mint

And then of course all of these with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated parmesan - delish.

Another ingredient I love for a simple pasta dish is ricotta – this is delicious when crumbled and put in the oven for about 20minutes (with S&P and olive oil) – it becomes amazingly full of flavour! Try out this pasta too:

image and recipe courtesy of the Simply Delicious blog:


400g cherry tomatoes
2tbsn Balsamic vinegar
1tbsn olive oil
1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

500g pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti)
300g Ricotta cheese, crumbled
4tbsn basil pesto thinned out with 2tsbn olive oil


Put oven onto 220°c.
Toss the cherry tomatoes with the vinegar, oil and seasonings and put in a roasting tray.
Roast for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes skin is starting to split.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente. Drain and combine with the tomatoes (and all their pan juices), ricotta and basil pesto.

Every pasta I have made over the last few weeks has had mascarpone thrown in – tastes amazing and definitely makes the pasta. Try this vegetarian option too:

Tagliatelle with spinach, mascarpone and parmesan


• 1 bag of fresh tagliatelle pasta
• olive oil (good quality makes all the difference)
• 2 teaspoons butter
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
• ½ a nutmeg, freshly grated
• 400g fresh spinach, washed thoroughly and finely sliced
• S&P, of course
• 120ml double cream
• 150g mascarpone cheese (lifesaver in any good pasta recipe)
• 2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook according tothe packet instructions. Meanwhile get a frying pan warm, add a drizzle of olive oil, the butter, garlic and nutmeg. When the butter melts, add the spinach. After 5 minutes it will have wilted down and will be nice and dark. A lot of the liquid will have cooked away and you'll have wonderful intensely flavoured spinach. Season with salt and pepper until it tastes good, then add the cream, mascarpone and a little ladle of cooking water from the pasta. Let this come to a simmer and then season again. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, and then stir it into the spinach sauce. Add the Parmesan and toss everything together.

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