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Pasta has never been more popular. It's versatile, easy to cook, inexpensive and delicious. In this new collection of imaginative recipes, vegetarian cooking expert Rose Elliot shows how pasta can be prepared in many different ways to produce a wide range of satisfying and creative meals. From robust soups to baked lasagnes, from light salads to steaming bowls of noodles bathed in succulent sauces, Rose's unique collection of recipes will ...
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Pasta has never been more popular. It's versatile, easy to cook, inexpensive and delicious. In this new collection of imaginative recipes, vegetarian cooking expert Rose Elliot shows how pasta can be prepared in many different ways to produce a wide range of satisfying and creative meals. From robust soups to baked lasagnes, from light salads to steaming bowls of noodles bathed in succulent sauces, Rose's unique collection of recipes will inspire a family supper, a solo meal in front of the TV or a festive dinner for company.
Recognized for her practical and unassuming approach to cooking, Rose starts with the basics. For those who don't know their spaghetti from their vermicelli there's a photographic guide to the many pasta varieties used in the book, as well as advice on selecting and cooking pasta. Rose then presents her pasta soups, pasta salads, five-minute sauces, simple pasta dishes, slightly more complicated "classic" sauces and, finally, baked dishes. Dried or frozen ingredients can be substituted when fresh aren't available and low-fat versions of many sauces are included.
This beautifully illustrated book contains 150 easy-to-follow recipes, many of which can be prepared in 10 minutes or so: the time it takes the pasta to cook. Inspired by recipes such as woodland mushroom and pasta soup; linguine with vodka and peas; spinach and cheese canneloni; and gnocchi with mushrooms, artichokes, mascarpone and basil, you're guaranteed to put a healthy, affordable and tasty meal onto your table.
Rigatoni with Red Bell Peppers, Spinach and Lentils
2 large red bell peppers
14 ounces rigatoni Salt
3 cups tender spinach, washed
2 tablespoons olive oil Half cup brown or green lentils, cooked, or a 14-ounce can Squeeze of lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper
If you are using dry lentils, cook them first (no need to soak) in plenty of water until tender. This takes about 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the lentils, so keep checking them toward the end of their cooking time. Serves 4.
1. First prepare the bell peppers by cutting them into quarters and placing, skin-side (shiny side) up, on a broiler pan. Put under high heat for 10-15 minutes, until the skin has blistered and blackened in places. Cover the peppers with a plate and leave until cook enough to handle, then remove the skin, stem and seeds, and cut the flesh into strips.
2. Fill a large saucepan with 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat for pasta.
3. When the water in the saucepan boils, add the pasta along with a tablespoon of salt and give the pasta a quick stir. Briefly put the lid on until it starts to lift, showing that the water has come back to a boil, then let the pasta bubble away, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, or until it is tender but still has some bite to it.
4. Meanwhile, dry the spinach leaves on paper towels and cook in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan for 2-3 minutes, or until it is just wilted. Add the lentils and their liquid and heat gently. Add a dash of lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Drain the pasta by tipping it all into a colander placed in the sink, then put it back in to the still-warm pan. Either add the remaining olive oil to the pasta, serve it on warm plates and put the spinach mixture and the peppers on top; or add all of these to the pasta, toss gently and serve immediately on warm plates.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted Half cup olive oil Two-thirds cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional Salt and freshly ground pepper Squeeze of lemon juice, optional
Recipes for classic pesto sauce vary slightly and some people argue details but, quite honestly, when a recipe contains basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan you really cannot go wrong! It is also a basic idea that can be successfully adapted in a number of ways.
1. Put the basil leaves, garlic cloves and pine nuts into a food processor or blender, with a little of the olive oil if necessary for the machine to work, and whizz to a fairly smooth paste. (A blender needs a little liquid in order to work, while a food processor can often start off with "dry" ingredients.)
2. Gradually add the rest of the oil, whizzing as you go, then transfer the mixture to a bowl, or to a screw-top jar if you are planning to keep the pesto in the refrigerator. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, if using.
3. Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the flavor if you think it needs it. Either use immediately, adding the pesto directly to hot, cooked spaghetti, tagliatelle or other pasta, or keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
A jar of pesto keeps well in the refrigerator. Besides being wonderful on pasta it is great on bread: spread it on slices of bread and broil or bake. You can also top baked potatoes with pesto, and add it to a simple bechamel sauce as well as to vegetable and pasta soups and pasta bakes.
You can make pesto in the traditional way using a mortar and pestle if you like. It takes longer, but the method is the same, with elbow power replacing the action of a machine.
Fettuccine Bechamel with Broiled Asparagus, Lemon and Parsley
14 ounces fettucine Salt
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and halved to make pieces approx. 2 inches long Olive oil
1 quantity of bechamel sauce or low-fat bechamel sauce Freshly ground black pepper Squeeze of lemon juice, optional Finely shredded rind of 1 lemon and flakes of Parmesan cheese, to serve
Broiling is a very way to cook asparagus; it is easier than boiling or steaming it, and the result is excellent. If you want to save a few calories, though, better boil or steam it.
1. First fill a large saucepan with 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat for the pasta.
2. When the water boils, add the pasta along with a tablespoon of salt and give the pasta a quick stir. Briefly put the lid on until it starts to lift, showing that the water has come back to a boil, then let the pasta bubble away, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, or until it is tender but still has some bite to it.
3. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus with a little olive oil and broil under high heat until tender and lightly browned: 6-8 minutes, turning the asparagus over halfway through.
4. Heat the bechamel sauce through gently. Check the seasoning, adding pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste if it needs it.
5. Drain the pasta by tipping it all into a colander placed in the sink, then put it back into the still-warm pan. Either add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta, serve it on warm plates and spoon the sauce on top; or add the sauce directly to the pasta, toss gently and serve on warm plates. Top with the asparagus and lemon zest (rind). Scatter with Parmesan, grind black pepper over and serve at once.
A citrus zester is quite cheap to buy and very useful. Grasp the lemon, or other citrus fruit, and run the zester firmly down its skin to produce long slim ribbons of zest with no pith attached. If you do not have a zester, pare off thin slices of skin with a potato peeler, then cut into thin shreds.
Posted August 5, 2000
As a vegan I have found that many vegetarian cook books contain dishes that call for tons of dairy and eggs, to my extremly pleasent suprise Vegetarian Pasta is a collection of widely diverse recipes (some with eggs and/or milk) that are easy and interesting with great tips and pictures that will inspire you cook!
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