Cook Arford

Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Tag: pasta

Vegan Bolognese sauce

In my opinion as a meat-eater, this is very nearly as good as the beef version! This makes a batch good for 4 meals at least.

  • 400g dried green lentils
  • I onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 litres vegetable stock
  • Oil
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

First cook the lentils in the stock for 45 minutes. Add more water if it threatens to dry out.

Meanwhile chop the vegetables or if you have one, pulse in a food processor. You need to consistency fine not chunky. Now sweat in a pan with the oil until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes, cooked lentils with their liquid and season. Cook another 20-30 minutes. Now for the clever bit. Use a stick blender or fork to mush half the mix into a paste and stir into the rest of the mix to make a thick gloopy sauce. If it is too dry add stock, if it is too runny, boil it away a bit with the lid off. Real vegans will add yeast powder to the mix.

Serve as a pasta sauce, or make a lasagne. The problem with a vegan lasagne is making the creamy topping. Vegetarians will be fine with a standard bechamel sauce and grated cheese! Vegans will have to improvise with tofu alternatives. Keep some back to use as an ingredient for vegan sausage rolls!

 

Salmon and Spinach Pasta

Super quick pasta dish. I like any pasta sauce that cooks in less time that the pasta! For two (easily scales up):

  • 2 skinless boneless salmon portions
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes, sliced,  and their oil
  • 175g pasta of your choice (I like shells for seafood)
  • 1/2 pack of fresh spinach
  • A blob of creme fraiche (optional)

Here’s what to do. Boil the pasta according to the instructions. Meanwhile, heat the tomato oil in a pan and cook the salmon and tomatoes until the salmon looks cooked and flakes easily. Add the spinach and put a lid on the pan for a couple of minutes until the spinach is wilted. At this point you can add the creme fraiche if you like, or just stir about to mix, and adjust the seasoning. Mingle with the pasta and serve.

Sausage and Broccoli Carbonara

Ingredients (for two) – easily halved

  • 4 chipolata sausages
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small head broccoli cut into small florets.
  • 175gm spaghetti
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 25gm grated parmesan cheese
  • Oil

Squeeze the meat out of the sausages and with wet hands make little balls about  2cm diameter. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the balls until they are brown and cooked through. Keep rolling them about. At the last minute add the garlic and keep cooking, but you don’t want the garlic burnt. Meanwhile boil water in a pan and cook the pasta. After 8 minutes boiling, toss in the broccoli. After another 5 minutes, drain the lot and put back in the pan with the sausage balls and garlic. Beat the eggs with the cheese and stir into the hot pasta. Add a dash of water or milk if it is too stodgy. Keep it on a gentle heat if the eggs don’t cook. After a minute all will be done and you can serve. Add more pepper and salt if you wish, it depends how seasoned the sausages were.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Ingredients (For One) – easily multiplied up for more people.

  • 85gms dried spaghetti
  • 1 egg beaten (or shaken in a jam jar!)
  • 1 garlic clove squashed
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 25gms finely grated cheese (ideally parmesan but cheddar would do)
  • Tablespoon of sunflower oil for frying

In a frying pan fry the garlic gently. When it goes golden brown take it out and throw it away. Chop the bacon and fry until slightly crispy. Meanwhile put a pan of water on to boil and boil the pasta until done according to the packet. Take the pasta out and drop it in the frying pan. Don’t shake all the water off. Add the cheese and egg, and stir about over a gentle heat until the egg starts to set which will be very quick. It might need a spoon or two of the cooking water to make it more smooth and creamy and less dry and lumpy. Either way it will taste good. Adjust seasoning with a sprinkle of salt and pepper Enjoy.

P.S. for a vegetarian version use a handful of mushrooms instead of bacon.

Thai Pesto Noodles

A bit fusion but it works. Takes about 5 minutes. The photo above was taken in Thailand where we went to cookery school for a day. First we were sent on a shopping trip to buy authentic ingredients in the market! This recipe did not come from that school but I thought the photo was appropriate for the ingredients anyway.

  • 4 slabs of dried egg noodles
  • 400g raw prawns
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 75g peanuts
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lime – zest and juice
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs olive oil.

Cook the noodles. Stir-fry the prawns in the olive oil. Blitz everything else except the sesame oil in a blender. Drain the noodles, stir in the sesame oil, stir in the prawns and pesto and eat.

Spaghetti, Pesto and Prawns

Without having to buy pesto! Quantities here for four – this scales up or down easily.

  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50g parsley leaves
  • 1 grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 80ml good olive oil
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 300g cooked prawns

Dry fry the almonds. Zap all but spag and prawns in a blender. Add 2 tbs water to loosen it if necessary

Cook the spaghetti. Drain, add the prawns to warm though. Add the pesto. Done! I have not made this for a while but the recipe in the book has a smiley face and Oli next to it so I will have to make it again soon.

 

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