This creamy and spicy roasted pepper pasta are the ideal option on those busy evenings when time isn’t precisely your friend. With some basic organisational skills, this dish is ready in less than 1 hour. While the water boils, the peppers are being roasted and while the pasta is being cooked, the sauce simmers on the stove. I find that pipe rigate are the perfect option for this type of sauce. Once mixed with the sauce, this type of pasta captures the creamy sauce and you get to enjoy that decadent sauce with every bite. Simply amazing…
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
for the sauce:
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 360ml almond milk
- 1 medium red onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 ½ tsp corn starch
- 1 ‘bird’s eye’ dried chili
- salt and pepper to taste
- 350g dry pipe rigate
- fresh basil leaves
- active dry yeast
- Pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain them using a colander and cool them under cold tap water. Drain them very well and place them in a large bowl.
- Roast the peppers. While the water boils, take a metal disk, place it on the stove and roast the peppers on each side. Place the roasted pepper in a small saucepan and cover with a lid. Proceed the same with the second pepper.
- Peel the peppers. Carefully peel each pepper. Remove the stem and the seeds, give them a quick wash and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Onion and garlic. Peel the onion and slice it carefully. Peel the garlic.
- Prepare the sauce. Place the milk, onion, garlic and chili in the bowl of a blender. Mix until smooth. Add the peppers, olive oil, corn starch, and dry nutritional yeast and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Cook the sauce. Add the sauce to a medium saucepan and simmer it over low-medium heat until thick (for about 7 minutes).
- Serve. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well. Serve in large bowls and garnish with basil ribbons and nutritional yeast.
One of the most famous Italian sauces is undoubtedly pesto alla genovese, a sauce made by smashing together 5 ingredients: fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese (a mix of parmigiano regiano and pecorino romano). The traditional way of making this amazing sauce requires a mortar and a pestle, its name comes from the Italian verb pestare (= to beat). Pesto alla genovese has a great taste, it’s definitely not shy nor delicate, it has lots of bold flavors which complement each other beautifully.
⦁ 3 Tbsp olive oil (45ml)
⦁ 25g basil leaves
⦁ 1 garlic clove
⦁ 1 Tbsp pine nuts (10g)
⦁ 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (5g)
⦁ 1/4 tsp salt
1. Wash the basil in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
2. In the mortar, crush the clove of garlic with about 1/4 tsp of salt until the garlic has softened.
3. Begin adding basil leaves about 1/4 of the quantity a time.
4. Add the oil one teaspoon at a time, stirring continuously.
5. Add the pine nuts and crush them as well.
6. Add the nutritional yeast and mix until combined.
7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Refrigerated, it will keep up to one week.
I’ve never tried in my whole life a side dish that tastes better than this simple zucchini salad. But this simple salad isn’t a bland, ordinary salad. Not at all! Those thin zucchini slices are charred on the grill just enough to enhance their flavour, then dressed with a herbal-lemony sauce and garnished with fresh and tangy feta crumbles. This amazing side dish doesn’t take more than 20 minutes and the result is so charmingly rustic but exquisite. A fresh summer salad that tastes simply awesome!
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 4 small zucchini
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 spring onions
- 10 mint leaves
- 10 basil leaves
- 80g feta cheese
- salt to taste
- Cut the zucchini. Wash the zucchini and pat them dry. If you use organic zucchini, leave their skin on. If your zucchini aren’t organic, peel them. Place them on a wood board and slice them in 1/2 cm thick slices.
- Grill the zucchini. Heat the grill over high heat. Arrange the zucchini slices in one layer and grill them until charred (for about 2 minutes). Carefully turn them on the other side and continue grilling for about 1 minute.
- Prepare the veggies and herbs. Wash the spring onions and slice them finely. Grate the lemon zest. Chop the basil and mint.
- The dressing. In a large bowl mix the olive oil with the lemon juice. Add the spring onions, lemon zest, basil and mint. Add the grilled zucchini slices and mix well. Crumble feta cheese on top and season with salt.
- Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
This Italian-inspired dish is so delicious and extremely easy to make. Basically, we are speaking about some small pasta cooked in a basil-flavored tomato broth, together with buttery cannellini beans, carrots, celery and onion. With some organisatory work done ahead this no fussn dish takes no longer than 30 minutes. Those vegetables I’ve mentioned above combine together in a genuine taste symphony, creating an absolutely delicious dish which is also heart and packed with nutrients. If I’d have to place it in a category I’d say it stays somewhere between a soup and a stew. I love my pasta e fagioli on the thick side but if a soupier dish is your cup of tea, please feel free to add more liquid.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions (200g, chopped)
- 2 large carrots (200g, chopped)
- 3 celery stalks (150g, chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 10 basil leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 4 – 5 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cans cooked cannellini beans (500g)
- 1 cup dried small pasta (120g)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Broth. I heated the vegetable broth over high heat. If you use room temperature broth, it would take longer for the soup to reach boiling point.
- Vegetables. Peel the onions, carrots and garlic cloves. Chop the onions, celery and carrot. Finely chop the garlic and basil.
- Sautee the vegetables. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee them until translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the carrot and the celery and sautee for further 3 minutes.
- The liquid. Add the chopped basil and bay leaves. Add the crushed tomatoes and about 4 cups of hot soup. Cover the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook the soup for 15 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and cook for further 10 minutes.
- Pasta. Finally add dry pasta and cook it until tender (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve in large bowl with olive oil drizzled on top.
I’ll give you four reasons why these marinara zoodles are amazing:
- since they aren’t cooked using heat, these noodles are an excellent method to include more raw nutrient-packed fruit and vegetables in your diet
- since it’s a raw dish, you don’t need a heat source, a detail which is most welcomed on these hot summer days
- this dish doesn’t take more than 15 minutes, form picking the tomatoes to garnishing the dish with the irreplaceable basil leaf
- since it’s august, the organic garden tomatoes are ripe and juicy, which brings a delicious flavor to the dish
The veggie spiralizer does an amazing job, but if have some spare time, it can be replaced with just a cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife. You just have to cut the zucchini in parallel ½ a centimeter – thick slices. Then you have to cut each slice into thin noodles. Obviously, it tends to be a rather laborious job, but it surely does the trick. Continue reading Zucchini Pasta alla Marinara (Raw Vegan)
This lovely pasta salad with tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil is ready in fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes on the clock! It is hearty, it’s colorful and it’s packed with bold flavors! It’s hands down my favorite salad and I’ve been making it since the Cretaceous period, since I was in the second grade to be more accurate. This salad is perfect for lunch or dinner and it’s also a wonderful dish to bring to a picnic.
For this salad I used mozzarella boconcini and cherry tomatoes picked from my own veggie garden, which I’ve seasoned with fresh basil and homemade balsamic vinegar reduction. For pasta I chose farfalle (penne, fusilli or rigatoni are also delicious in this salad) which I’ve flavored with finely chopped shallot. Although I cannot tolerate onion in traditional Caprese salad, I always add finely chopped shallot in the pasta version. I find that it seasons discretely the pasta, without overpowering the rest of the ingredients. Continue reading Farfalle Caprese
Tomato soup with smoked sausage and poached eggs, a rustic soup with a great flavor profile. Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than this soups. It’s the soup of those sore – throat mornings and it’s the soup of those long days of July. It’s definitely a soup of contrasts, the refreshing tomato juice, the fragrance of the basil, the earthiness of the shallot and the smoked sausage. The perfect geometry of the homemade square noodles and the imperfect beauty of the poached egg.
Why I love tomato soup with smoked sausage and poached eggs:
- it’s simply delicious, it’s hearty and fragrant
- it’s ready in less than 30 minutes
- it prepares almost by itself
- it takes about 5 budget-friendly ingredients
- it’s great all year round
Continue reading Tomato Soup with Smoked Sausage and Poached Eggs
I’ve always had mixed feelings about eggplants, I haven’t been able to figure out whether I like them or not. They are so big, and shiny and… weird. I try almost daily to find a way to include them in my diet, especially because I personally grew them in my own veggie garden. I find their taste at least interesting but I cannot stand their spongy texture. Yet, there is a delicious Italian dish, melanzane alla parmigiana or parmezan eggplants which is a cross between a lasangna and a moussaka. I don’t know what makes this dish exquisite, maybe the way the tomato sauce’s acidity amplifies the taste of the eggplants or the way the parmesan’s taste dances together with the earthiness of the eggplant. Maybe all the reasons combined, but the taste is simply amazing! Continue reading Melanzane alla Parmigiana – Parmesan Eggplants
I have an almost irritating gastronomical curiosity, a curiosity that often leads to surprising (if not weird) culinary combinations. I love complex, technical and challenging things, but often I find myself yearning for simplicity. Throughout time I’ve learnt that those simple things tend to fascinate, they tend to mesmerize. You simply get them and they simply get you.
One of those mesmerizing simple things are undoubtedly tomatoes à la Provençale, ripe tomatoes stuffed with flavorful bread crumbs. There are 2 tricky things about this recipe: the bread crumbs must be fresh, made from day old bread and the herbs should be fresh as well, not dried; dried bread crumbs and dried herbs aren’t quite a match made in heaven, at least not for this recipe. These being said, it’s impossible for me to describe how mouth-watering these stuffed tomatoes are. The contrast between the sweet and juicy tomato and the crispy bread crumbs is so delightful and you cannot limit yourself at just one serving! Continue reading Tomatoes à la Provençale
I remember watching Ratatouille (the movie, not the dish) when I was a senior in high school and I instantly knew that this veggie stew would become my favorite dish. I was wrong, but only by a few years. The very next day I did the groceries and I made my first Ratatouille, a blend, boring, half-decent stew. So I forgot about Ratatouille and its humble existence. But last year I decided it was about time to rewatch that delightful movie and the dish simply enchanted me. Again. So I did some research, I made the dish and I simply felt in love. Ratatouille is a rustic, almost an austere dish, that kind of dish that makes you fall in love with it over and over again.
There are so many recipes for Ratatouille, you can saute it, you can bake it, you can serve the veggies firm, almost raw or you can simmer them slowly, until tender and incredibly flavorful. My favorite version is so simple but it’s quite time-consuming. After you chop the veggies, you saute them in olive oil, one veggie at a time, until you caramelize them nicely and this creates an amazing depth of flavor. Of course you can saute them all together in a large pot, but the result would be a nice stew, and not a decadent Ratatouille! Continue reading Ratatouille