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3 Brilliant Italian Vegetarian Meals

3 Brilliant Italian Vegetarian Meals

 The gorgeous Suzanne.

The gorgeous Suzanne.

Meet my beautiful friend Suzanne, who is an absolute ray of sunshine and health.  We met earlier this year when her beautiful dog Bella (see below) decided to fall in love with my son Luke at our favourite café St Rose.

Suzanne and I often catch up now to discuss our favourite topics, food, pilates, movies, books, fashion and farmers markets.  We both attend the Flemington farmers market and love to cook with the produce we purchase.

What I love about about Suzanne is she loves to eat like I do.  We love eating, but enjoying fabulous flavours from fresh ingredients.  Food is great for the soul and Suzanne has kindly shared some of her delicious recipes straight from the farmers market.

Here are 3 vegetarian dishes you will love.

Paccheri Neri Broccoli Pasta With Porcini Mushroom, Broccoli, Parmesan, Olive Oil Sauce.

Ingredients (Serves 2)  

  • 250 grams of Paccheri Neri pasta (the brand that I have used in this recipe is Leonessa).  If you can’t find this brand you will be able to find this type of pasta - Paccheri at most supermarkets (This pasta is in the shape of a large tube with a thick walls) it's great for heavy sauces like the one in this recipe.
  • Handful of dry porcini mushrooms 
  • Head of broccoli cut into small florets, including stalks and leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Method

  • Cook pasta in salted water for about 12 - 15 minutes 
  • Place porcini mushrooms in a cup of boiled water (for about 5 minutes)
  • In a large frying pan, brown garlic in the olive oil, add half of the broccoli florets and cook for about 2 minutes, add porcini mushrooms, including the liquid.  
  • Cook for a further 5 minutes and then turn the heat off and place in a blender or thermomix or nutri-bullet and blitz this mix.
  • Place the porcini/broccoli sauce back in the frying pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring it so it does not dry.
  • Now back to the boiling pasta - in the final two minutes (or so) add the rest of the raw broccoli and cook with the pasta, then turn the heat off and drain in a colander.
  • Plating - add a little of the porcini/broccoli sauce, the cooked pasta with broccoli and then more of the sauce, grate some parmesan, a little olive oil, this extra little coating of liquid gold will make the dish shine.
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Cavolo Nero Ricotta Gnocchi On Crisp Cavolo Nero Aglio Oglio

Ingredients (serves 2)


250 g of Italian ricotta
I whole egg
3/4 - 1 cup of flour ( or spelt flour) 
Nutmeg
Parmesan cheese grated
Bunch of raw Cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) chopped then blended
Salt and pepper
Extra Cavolo nero leaves

Method
1. Combine all gnocchi ingredients except flour.
2. Add 3/4 of flour and mix until it is combined (should be sticky) then add the rest of the flour into the dough consistency is right.
3. Transfer to a floured surface and pat dough into a disk shape and cut into about 8 pieces and roll into logs and cut into about 1.5cm pieces.
4. Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil, add gnocchi and cook fir about 3 minutes or until they rise to the surface. 
5. For the extra leaves, I boiled the Cavolo nero for about 2 minutes and transferred this to a frying pan and lightly fried this in olive oil and raw garlic for 2 minutes. Add a hand full of chopped macadamia nuts and cook for a further minute. 
6. Add the gnocchi to the pan and toss lightly to infuse the flavours. 
7. Serve immediately and grate some Parmesan on the plate and drizzle of olive oil

Note: This Gnocchi can be used with a variety of your favourite sauces.

Healthy Eggplant Rollantini

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 mins – 1 hr

Ingredients (serves 2)

  •       2 large eggplants
  •       1 cup of ricotta
  •       Cavolo Nero ( Tuscan Kale) ( raw and chopped finely)
  •       Nutmeg
  •       Parmesan 
  •       1 egg
  •       Salt & Pepper
  •       2 cups of Passata sauce 

 

METHOD

  • Pre-heat oven to 200C
  • For even slices, I have used a mandolin to slice the eggplant
  • Brush olive oil on 2 baking sheets and placed eggplants on this ( bake in the oven for about 10 minutes
  • While eggplants are cooking, prep the filling: ina bowl combine ricotta, Cavolo Nero, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper  
  • Pour the passata sauce in a baking dish
  • Spread approx 2 heaped table spoons of ricotta  mixture on an eggplant slice and roll eggplant, continue this process with the rest of the eggplants.
  • Arrange eggplants with the seam side down in the passata sauce prepped dish
  • Cover with foil and cook for about 30 – 45 minutes ( depend on the heat of your oven) and then remove foil and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven, serve and Enjoy 

 

Follow Suzanne and little Bella's adventures on Instagram here.

 Even beautiful little Bella loves going to the farmers market.

Even beautiful little Bella loves going to the farmers market.

Thank you for reading.  If you love these recipes, please make a comment below.  We would love for Suzanne to keep sharing her "food for the soul" with us.  See Suzanne's health loaf here.

Please share this article to keep our community growing.

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