Monday, 1 August 2016

VEGETARIAN PASTA BAKE


Welcome to the August post of Rabbit food! - It's the last month of summer, so I feel I should be posting a summery recipe. Yesterday I went out to lunch and ordered a dish called "summer in a bowl" which I thought would be a great title for today's post. It turned out to be a bowl of lettuce leaves with a few pieces of melon that my sister nicked (and possibly a bit of very bland dressing?- hard to tell)......nothing wrong with it, but I did come home still super hungry and in need of some Nutella toast)
However its a bit cooler today and the forecast this week is rain, rain, wind, and er ....a bit more rain.  Can't beat the good old british summer!! but colder weather calls for heartier meals - so summer in a bowl will have to wait for another time. Maybe next month. Indian summer in a bowl? watch this space......!

serves 2   preheat oven to 180 c

ingredients
225g tomato pasta sauce
50g mushrooms
50g left over veg (in this case, some sweet potato and broccoli) if you don't have any left over veg you could use a mix of onion, carrot, celery, sweetcorn, peas, courgette...........anything else you can think of!
100g pasta (I used buckwheat pasta)
handful of cheese ( I used vegan cheese)
1 1/2 cup soymilk  (or any other milk of your choice)
2 slightly rounded tablespoons flour (rice flour used here)
1 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other light cooking oil
salt and pepper

1.  for the tomato pasta sauce - you can use shop bought or make your own. I make my own simple sauce by putting 1 tin of peeled, chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon date syrup, and some Italian dried herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 30 -45 mins depending on how thick you want it.

2. chop the mushrooms up and stir fry in a little rapeseed oil or light olive oil until softened and starting to brown. Add in the left over veg. Mix the tomato sauce into the veggies and combine with a wooden spoon. Place in the bottom of a baking dish (this one is 20 cm by 15 cm)


3 Cook your pasta as per instructions on the packet - nb different pastas will take different cooking times - I always add a spoonful of light olive oil to the cooking water to stop the pasta sticking.  When cooked, drain and cover the tomato veggie layer of the dish.


4  to make the white sauce, take 1 1/2 cups of soymilk and 2 slightly rounded tablespoons gluten free flour. (I used riceflour) . 
5 make a Roux, by adding 1 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other light cooking oil, to the saucepan. add in the flour and mix well together (I use a little whisk) Add the milk little by little, stirring all the time . If you use a whisk it should prevent any dreaded lumps - but don't panic if you do get lumps - just strain the mix through a sieve. Season to taste. I also like to add a spoonful of Dijon mustard to the white sauce to give it some more flavour. If you want to do that, add it in as you're whisking in the milk.
6  When the white sauce has thickened, pour over the pasta. Then sprinkle over a handful of grated cheese (I used vegan cheese - you can use any cheese you like).
7, Then slice your tomato and use to decorate the top. scatter with some torn, fresh basil.


8 bake in the oven for about 30 mins till the top is starting to brown.

served here with lettuce, or should I say " summer in a bowl" ;)


ps for those of you who caught last month's post and have been waiting with baited breath to find out what the mystery veg i'm growing in the greenhouse is - it turned out to be.................drumroll..................Broccoli. Really tiny broccoli - as soon as it got any bigger than this it all started to flower. Epic fail! - It's all down to the carrots now!




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