Pasta with a creamy avocado sauce

Serves 4

How hungry are you? Can you wait 12 minutes, because that’s exactly how long it takes to make this simple and delicious meal.

You will need:

  • 400g of your favourite pasta, I used linguine
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • A few basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A 200g tin of sweetcorn
  • A few cherry tomatoes
  • Some kind of food processor

Right, fill a large pan with boiling water, stick your pasta in it and cook it however it says on the packet.

Whilst that’s doing its thing we can make the sauce, halve your avocados, peel them and get rid of the seed, stick them in the food processor along with the basil leaves, peeled garlic and a twist of salt & pepper to taste.

Process it all together until smooth.

With the processor running drizzle in 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil until the sauce emulsifies, you’ll see the sauce change in consistency and thicken. You might not have to put all of the oil in so see how you get on.

Drain your sweetcorn and quarter your cherry tomatoes.

Your pasta should be done by now (see it’s that quick), drain it and return it to the pan, stir in your avocado sauce, sweetcorn, tomatoes and serve!

Adapted from: http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2012/08/creamy-avocado-pasta.html

Butternut Squash and Spinach Cannelloni Recipe

In the pan...

I’ve neglected the food part of the blog for a while so I thought I’d write this down, I had a butternut squash to use and came up with this!

Ingredients – Makes 6

A 1KG butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-2cm cubes

A little olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

A sprinkle of dried sage

200ml of vegetable stock

175ml white wine

150g of spinach

30g of toasted pine nuts

125g of crumbled vegetarian blue cheese

50g of feshly grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese

1litre of passata

6 sheets of fresh lasagne

Method

Pour a little olive oil into a large pan and add the diced onion, sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.

Add the peeled & diced butternut squash and garlic to the pan, give it a good stir.

Add the herbs, vegetable stock and wine, you may as well pour yourself another glass whilst you’re at it.

Season with freshly ground black pepper, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the squash is just soft.

If there’s any liquid left in the pan, drain it off then lightly mash the squash with the back of a spoon.

Add the spinach, crumbled blue cheese, half the parmesan and half of the pine nuts. Stir the mix and cover until the spinach has milted.

Lay out the lasagne sheets and place a hearty spoonful of the mix on each one, roll up and place in a greased baking dish.

Pour the passata over the cannelloni until they are almost covered and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and pine nuts.

Bake in the oven at 200C for 20-30 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Pasta with chili, garlic, ginger and tomatoes recipe

You’ll make sex noises throughout the whole time you’re eating this, I guarantee it! It’s quick to make and it’s got the got the right combination of heat from the chili & garlic and sweetness from the tomatoes.

Ingredients

150g of your favourite pasta

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 red chili, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

A piece of ginger bigger than a big thumb, peeled and grated

125g of baby plum tomatoes, quartered

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Bring a pan of water to the boil and get your pasta in there cooking away

In another pan, over a medium heat add a little olive oil and add the plum tomatoes, give them a stir and mush them up a bit. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the garlic, chili, ginger and chopped tomatoes. Add a twist of black pepper and give it all a good stir.

Let it bubble away whilst the pasta finishes cooking but don’t let it get too dry.

Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato sauce.

Enjoy!

Spinach, Sweet Red Pepper and Ricotta Lasagne recipe

Another recipe shamelessly stolen from The Waiting Room but changed slightly, serve it with sesame potatoes and some garlic bread to wipe the plate.

Ingredients – Makes enough for 6

Olive oil

4 sweet pointed red peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks

3 red onions, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

250ml of vegetable stock

500g organic spinach

250g ricotta cheese

Dried egg pasta sheets, I used 15

300ml of good bechamel sauce, make your own if you want!

300g of vegetarian mature cheddar cheese, grated

Freshly grated nutmeg, don’t use ready ground

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C, slightly lower for a fan assisted oven.

Add a little olive oil to a large roasting tray and place in the oven for a few minutes.

Place the chunks of red pepper and all the red onion in the roasting tray, turn the veg to cover in the hot oil and place in the oven for around an hour, turning every 15 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it in case it starts to burn.

Remove the roasted red pepper and onions from the oven and set to one side.

In a large pan, gently fry the onion in a little olive oil for about 10 minutes then add the minced garlic.

Stir and fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft but not brown.

Add the vegetable stock and the spinach, stir until the spinach has wilted.

Add the red pepper and onions to the spinach mix along with the ricotta and give it all a good stir.

Add half the cheese to the bechamel sauce and stir to combine.

Layer the mix in a deep oven dish alternating between that and the pasta sheets, I did three layers ending on a layer of pasta.

Pour the bechamel and cheese mixture on top of the pasta and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the sauce.

Grate as much nutmeg over the cheese as you like!

Bake in the oven for about an hour, make sure the pasta doesn’t burn but the cheese goes brown and gooey!

Pasta with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Broccoli recipe

Another stolen recipe which has been changed slightly. Originally by Rose Elliot this has tenderstem broccoli added to it and mushrooms taken away. I’m sure it would be just as nice with mushrooms, I didn’t have any though! We had it on day 3 of Veggie August and it made more than enough for the two of us with leftovers for lunch the next day!

Ingredients – Makes enough for 4-6

Olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 big cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tin of chickpeas, drained

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 vegetarian stock cube (I used a Knorr Stock Pot)

A glug of red wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar

200g of tenderstem broccoli

325g of wholewheat pasta

Method

Add a little olive oil to a pan and over a medium heat add the onion, fry for about 10 minutes but keep moving the onion, it just needs to be lightly browned.

Once the onion is almost done add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, stock cube, red wine vinegar, sugar and season with the black pepper, give it all a good stir and let it heat through.

Meanwhile add the pasta to a large pan of boiling water and cook for around 10 minutes.

Once you’ve got the pasta started add the broccoli to another pan of boiling water and cook for the last 6-8 minutes.

When the pasta and broccoli are cooked drain them both and add them to the tomato sauce.

Give it all a stir and serve!