Blue sheese, walnut and courgette pasta

This turned out to be a triumph.  It was made up on the spot, from what we had around the house after refusing to do ‘the big shop’ for the last week.  It’s fairly cheap, very easy to make for a lot of people, and will definitely impress your vegans.

One thing that I recommend everyone has in their house is a spiralizer, mandolin or a vegetable shredder.  With vegan food, it is important to think about two things in particular, balance and texture.  Long shredded strands of vegetables are very very different to eat than chopped or grated.  There’s a softness that you get when you use spiralizers or shredders that can take a carrot from mundane to a delicious side dish, and cucumbers from ‘part of a salad’ all the way to ‘satisfying lunch’.  Here is the one I would recommend – I don’t have this one, I got mine in Vietnam a few years ago, and after extensive googling, I can’t find it online.

If don’t have one and you want to make this dish, there are several options:

  1. Grate the courgette in long strands  y moving only one direction down the grater.
  2. Julienne it as finely as you can by hand.
  3. Go large – unapologetically do the courgette in thin circles and make it your own.

Ingredients (feeds 2)

Olive oil
1 red onion (white also OK) – thinly sliced into crescents.
2 large or 4/5 small cloves garlic – chopped or crushed
2 courgettes – spiralized
~100ml soya cream (I presume oat cream would also be fine)
1/2 a block of Bute Island ‘Blue Style’ sheese, – grated (try Holland and Barratt if you are still willing to shop there despite the recent scandal)
Oregano (as much as you think, maybe 1 teaspoon of fresh, a bit less dried)
A fistful of walnuts – broken a bit (I’m sure that almonds and pine nuts would also be good, maybe even hazelnuts)
Salt and black pepper (to taste)
Lemon juice (to taste; from an actual lemon is best)

Pasta (enough for 2) – I recommend a wholewheat spaghetti for this dish, as it is great with the shred of courgette.

Cost – For Rebecca to work out!

1. Heat the olive oil lightly in a pan, use about 2 tablespoons – I’d use a nice olive oil that you like the taste of,  as it really is part of the sauce and not just to cook with.

2. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 3 mins without letting it colour much, then add the garlic and oregano, cook for 1 minute.  Cook until the rawness has gone but try not to let it colour as you want the sauce to stay quite white.

3. Add the spiralized courgette and cook until it softens and a lot of the water leaves it.  Again, try not to let it catch.

4. Put the heat as low as it can go and add the soya cream, once this cream is a little warm, add the grated sheese.  This will melt in. Drop in the broken nuts.

5. This is where you balance it.  Add salt and pepper, and a touch of lemon juice – taste it. Adjust it until it is ‘right’ – you may want the sauce to be runnier – add more soya cream, or even a touch of non-dairy milk to loosen it.  Maybe you want to finish it with a really good olive oil – do that.  Just taste and adjust until you are happy. Turn off the heat and let it sit.

6. Cook and drain the spaghetti, reserving a little of the cooking water in a bowl/jug/mug.

7. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the sauce in – NOT the other way round. Lift it gently to mix.  If you think it would benefit from being looser, add some of the cooking liquid.  If you ware making it to reheat a bit later (not the best, but ok), then use the cooking liquid then, as it will have dried out and absorbed the sauce liquid.

8. Serve it with a few herbs on top, maybe with a green salad, or garlic bread if you like.

 

 

 

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