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Quick pasta dish with leek, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and garlic Ⓥ

So one night I got home late & was hungry but hadn’t done groceries that day. Luckily I still had some fresh vegetables in my fridge and made up this quick dish. It’s great warm for dinner, but equally yummy as a (cold) lunch.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 15.22.31Ingredients (4P)

  • Pasta (for 4 people), I used 300g whole wheat penne.
  • 1 leek (medium)
  • 10 mushrooms (medium)
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove (or 1 tsp asafetida powder)
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper

Preparation

  1. Boil water for pasta.
  2. Wash and cut the vegetables (leek: sliced; tomatoes: halves; mushrooms: quarts).
  3. Slice and dice the garlic clove.
  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet or wok and add leek, fry for 2 minutes, add mushrooms, fry until golden. Add garlic, stir for about 2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and let simmer.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to instructions on packaging.
  6. Before draining the cooking water of the pasta, take out a small amount in a cup and set aside.
  7. Drain the pasta & splash with cold water.
  8. Add the pasta to the vegetables, add olive oil, salt, pepper & fresh basil and stir well.
  9. Add a bit of the cooking liquid if the mixture is too dry.
  10. Serve with a side salad (in picture: lettuce, tomato, nutritional yeast, roasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds with ume su vinegar) with a mustard dressing.

TIP: You can also add fresh spinach or endives or whatever you have in your fridge at that moment and you feel like adding. The tomatoes and cooking liquid give you a simply but deliciously light sauce.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Vegan recipe: pasta alla norma

I love this sicilian dish which normally contains only eggplant, tomato sauce and basil (and often parmesan or ricotta cheese), so I’ve transformed it into my own vegan version with some added proteins.

Ingredients (mine are all organic) for 3 to 4 portions

  • 2 eggplants (medium size)
  • 400 ml or a  carton of tomato sauce (passata) or a portion of home-made sauce
  • 1 pack of vegan chick’pieces (I used Greenway, there’s also De Vegetarische Slager in The Netherlands and Beyond Meat in the USA)
  • 1 small purple onion (optional, non-sattvic)
  • 1 tsp of asafoetida powder or 1 garlic clove (optional, non-sattvic)
  • Pasta of your choice (I used orecchiette)
  • Half a cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Himalaya salt
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

Pasta à la normaPreparation

  1. Cut the eggplants in 3 or 4 slices (lengthwise), then cut them in strips
  2. Put the strips in a colander and rinse
  3. Put enough Himalaya salt on the strips to coat them all lightly and leave covered with a clean cloth for about 20 minutes, or until the strips are ‘sweating’  (water drops form on the strips)
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  5. Cut the garlic and onion (optional) in small pieces
  6. Wash the basil leaves
  7. Once the eggplants are ‘sweating’, rinse of the excess salt and pat them dry with kitchen towels or a clean cloth
  8. Toss the eggplant strips with olive oil in a bowl, enough to coat each strip lightly, put the strips on a non sticky baking sheet and put in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until well baked. Turn the strips after 10 minutes
  9. Boil a big enough pan with (filtered) water for the pasta and cook following direction
  10. In the meantime, fry the chick’pieces in olive oil, add the asafoetida (or garlic & onion) until golden
  11. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt & pepper
  12. Add the eggplant strips once nicely roasted
  13. Add most of the basil leaves, but leave some for decoration of the plates
  14. Strain the pasta once ‘al dente’, cover with the pasta sauce and serve with a couple of leaves of fresh basil and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast (optional)

=> Serve directly with a side salad of aragula (rucola), roasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds with an olive oil/ lemon juice dressing

=> You can make your own vegan parmesan to sprinkle on top: in a coffee grinder, mix an equal quantity of brasil nuts (or almonds) and nutritional yeast and sprinkle this over your pasta dish (or salad). Save the left-overs in the fridge in a closed jar.