Thursday, 1 March 2012


Now, I know I've made burgers and chicken curries and fish cutlets, but anyone who knows me, knows that I love my veg. 

To me, vegetables aren't just a side order with a sunday roast, but rather the main event. My grandparents were vegetarians and my dad was a vegetarian…until, well he had his first lamb chop and decided he couldn't go back, so my brother and I always grew up with an awareness and appreciation of good vegetarian dishes. On a day like today, when spring looks like it's finally in the air, I wanted to cook a light, colourful dish that is a little bit of sunshine on a plate.

Hello leek and pistachio noodles with roasted vegetables.

In my opinion, if you're going to use vegetables, you can't just boil them to within an inch of their lives and plop them on to a plate. You should always hear the crunch of a carrot or be able to feel the textures of an aubergine, and see the glorious spring green of a leek. 

This dish does not need more than 1 pan and an oven tray, will not require any frying, and is ready to serve in 15mins. 30 minutes meals eat your heart out!

For the leek and pistachio noodles, I have just boiled some thin capelli d'angelo (angel hair spaghetti). If you can't get your hands on this, vermicelli or any other fine pasta or noodle will do. As these are so fine, they should be cooked in about 5mins. You can then drain and drizzle a bit of olive oil and crack some pepper on top. 

For the roasted vegetables, I slice two thick pieces of aubergine, and topped with a bit of olive oil to stop from burning, then put these in the oven. In the meantime, I finely slice half a leek and carrot, dress with some olive oil, salt and a tiny amount of ginger (for the carrots) and add to the oven tray. In about 2mins, these should be cooked. Remove from the oven and add half of your leeks to the noodles. The noodles are now done, so these can be plated up. Once this is done, simply heat up some pasta sauce with some soya sauce and cumin. 

The roasted vegetables is all about layering, so start with a bed of the remainder of your leeks. Then one of your aubergines, a good spread of the tomato sauce, a handful of the ginger carrots, another aubergine and spread of sauce, a final layer of ginger carrots then garnish with crushed pistachios. 

Brunch-time, lunch-time, tea-time… good time.

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