Winter ribollita

Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

Because we can’t all survive on mince pies this December… Or can we?


Winter ribollita
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Vn Gf Df
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt
1 can plum tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
100g cavalo Nero, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, add 1 tsp of olive oil over a low to medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, parsnip, carrot and half a tsp of salt. Give it a good stir, cover with a lid and leave to soften for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add a can of plum tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and the vegetable stock before upping the heat and bringing to the boil. Turn down the heat and add the parsley and the cavalo nero. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Take off the heat, ladle into bowls and top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread and good crack of black pepper.

Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

If you’ve had a go at making my Winter ribollita or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

Butternut squash nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

It is no secret that I hate nut roast. I hate it for the same reason I hate stuffed peppers, mushroom stroganoff and risotto – because they’re the dishes that were stuffed down my throat as a child in the late ’80s.
But times have changed, and so have these dishes (or so I hear) and therefore, so must I – although actually, I’m pretty sure stuffed peppers are still pretty awful.
Anyway, nowadays, ‘I’ll have the risotto,’ is a phrase being uttered across the country, and not just out of necessity but choice! By choice, I tells you! And the same can be said for my ultimate nemesis – the nut roast, AKA – dry, flavourless, nutty gravel.
Want a way to ruin a lovely plate of roast vegetables? Simply add a big, ugly door-stopper-sized slice of nut roast. Horrible. Or so I thought.
Recently, I took a chance and ordered the nut roast at our local pub and it was (dare I say it) rather tasty. Like a rare and exotic specimen, I expertly dissected it with a fork as Jamie and his friends tried to ignore my terrible table manners – I practically face-planted into my plate in order to give it a good old sniff. In the end, I couldn’t figure out what was in it (and I was being being incredibly rude) so I just scoffed it.
So, with that in mind, and not having a clue what was in it, I decided to try and make it – not at all challenging. What I came up with in the end was this butternut squash, goat’s cheese and chestnut concoction. It’s nothing like the one I had at the Brave Sir Robin, but wrapped in cabbage leaves it’s lovely and moist and scarcely resembles the nut roast that used to end up on our Christmas table in the ’80s.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Serves 6 / Hands on time 45mins / Total 1hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: Food processor, hand blender, 2lb (21cm x 11cm) loaf tin, ice cubes and kitchen roll.
6 savoy cabbage leaves
50g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
100g parsnip (1 medium) cubed
150g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped (I used Merchant Gourmet)
75g cashews
50g walnuts
100g brown breadcrumbs
100g vegetarian goats cheese, roughly cubed
2 Sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 tsp salt


Method
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or large saucepan, sweat the onions in 50g of unsalted butter and ½ tsp of salt, on a medium heat with the lid on. Put a filled kettle on to boil and start preparing and chopping the butternut squash and parsnip.
2. Add the butternut squash and the parsnip to the softening onions, give it a stir and replace the lid. Turn the heat down from medium to a low heat and stir occasionally.
3. Grease a loaf tin generously with butter, line with foil and grease the foil with more butter. Put to one side. Pour the boiling water from the kettle into another large saucepan and and bring to the boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and put to one side. Remove 6 cabbage leaves from the savoy cabbage and drop them carefully into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place straight into the ice cold water bath. Put to one side.
4. Using a food processor, now is a good time to make the breadcrumbs by simply wizzing a couple of torn slices of brown bread in a blender. Put to one side. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4
5. Uncover the butternut squash and onion mixture and using a hand blender, blitz half the mixture straight in the pot. Give it a good mix and add the chopped mushrooms before stirring again and covering with the lid once more.
6. In a large dry frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, toast the cashews and the walnuts together for a few minutes moving constantly in the pan to avoid burning (you want them to get a bit of colour but not too much). Turn out onto a chopping board and using a large knife, roughly chop them along with the cooked chestnuts.
7. Take the butternut squash and mushroom mixture off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the chopped nuts. Add the roughly chopped gooey goats cheese along with a ½ tsp of salt, a good crack of black pepper and the chopped rosemary. Give it all a good stir and put to one side.
8. remove the cabbage leaves from the water bath and blot each leaf with kitchen roll to dry it off a bit. Line the tin with overlapping cabbage leaves, leaving any excess hanging over the sides. Spoon in the mixture and pressing it down well with the back of a spoon. Fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top and use any spare cabbage leaves to fill any holes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven 40 mins. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes.
9. Once cooked take out of the oven and put a large serving plate over the top of the tin. Holding the tin with oven gloves, turn the plate over and turn the nut roast out. Peel off any foil and cut into generous slices and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

If you’ve had a go at making my nut roast or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


– Vegetarian


 

Bitesize peppermint creams

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

Peppermint creams are the kind of weird recipe you get forced to make at school. “Mmm, they’re delicious Corricles,” my mum would say dutifully to my eight-year-old face, as she nibbled on the corner of a giant, crusty peppermint cream. Satisfied with her praise, I would scamper away while, unbeknownst to me, my peppermint creams swiftly made their way into the bin.
So, why have I decided to make peppermint creams after all these years? Two reasons. One: I can’t remember what they taste like and I’m curious. Two: it’s December, and you know what that means – it’s edible gift time, yay! I wonder which lucky friend or family member will draw the short straw this year?
Although actually, these were quite lovely and unlike my eight-year-old effort – the 34-year-old variety are perfectly bite-sized, dipped in delicious dark chocolate and taste just like an After Eight. Sorry, Mum, but I think it’s time for round two.

For more edible gift ideas, check out my salted sultana rum fudge, vanilla shortbread or last years Christmas offering softly spiced lebkuchens.


Bitesize peppermint creams
Makes 20-30 mini rounds / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins + setting time / V Gf
You’ll need: Baking paper, rolling pin and a small round cookie cutter
300g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
¼ tsp peppermint flavouring
1 egg (the white separate from the yolk)
1 tsp of lemon juice
90g Green and Black’s Organic 70% dark chocolate


Method
1. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white in a small bowl and discard the egg yolk. In a large mixing bowl, sieve the icing sugar before adding half the egg white along with a ¼ tsp of peppermint flavouring and a tsp of lemon juice.
2. Mix slowly with a wooden spoon to avoid the icing sugar flying everywhere. The mix will seem very dry but keep mixing until the icing sugar comes together to form a firm dough. If you need more liquid add more egg white.
3. Once the dough has formed, remove the spoon from the bowl and knead the dough with your hands – like you would a bread dough. If the dough is too sticky you may need to add more icing sugar.
4. Line a large chopping board with a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with icing sugar, put to one side. Cut out another large piece of baking paper and place on a clean dry surface. Sprinkle with icing sugar and turn the dough out onto it before sprinkling with more icing sugar. Roll out the mixture with a rolling pin to roughly 1 centimetre thick.
5. Insert the cookie cutter into the dough, give it a twist and extract a little round of dough. Place the round onto the lined chopping board and repeat (gathering up and rolling out the dough if necessary). Cover the peppermint creams loosely with cling film and leave to set for at least 3 hours or preferable over night.
6. Once set, it’s time to melt the chocolate. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, take off the heat and place a small heat-proof bowl over it. Break in the pieces of chocolate and wait for it to melt (try not to stir it until nearly all the chocolate has melted). Meanwhile, line a baking tray or cooling rack with baking paper sprinkled with icing sugar.
7. Once melted, tilt the bowl slightly to the side to allow a deeper pool of chocolate for you to dip your peppermint creams into. One by one, dip each peppermint cream into the chocolate, wait for the drips to stop and place on your newly lined cooling rack. Repeat until all of your peppermint creams are coated.
8. Leave in a cool dry place for the chocolate to set. Once set, carefully peel the peppermint creams off the baking paper before boxing up and gifting to a lucky family member or friend.

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

If you’ve had a go at making my peppermint creams or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V – Vegetarian    Gf – Gluten free



Fish-less pie

Fish-less pie
Fish-less pie
Fish-less pie

I love fish pie – at least, I think I would if it didn’t have fish in it. Let me explain. I love all of the elements of a fish pie – I adore smoky flavours, I love creamy white wine and dill sauces and buttery mash potato. But what can I use instead of fish to pour all of this deliciousness over?

“Fish pie without the fish?” Sarah looks up from her desk and stares at me.
“Yeah” I say as I rummage through my bag for a packet of brazil nuts.
“Fish pie without the fish?”
“Yes!” I say, still rifling.
“Surely that’s just ‘pie’?” she replies blankly.
“Er yes, but no, because I’m using mushrooms instead of fish.”(I swear I put those Brazil nuts in here, I think to myself, getting slightly more agitated.)
“Oh, so you’re making a mushroom pie?”
“What? No!” I say, as I continue to angrily nosedive into the depths of my bag – why do I have so much shit in here, and why is my bag so big?
“I just told you, I’m making a fish-pie-without-the-fish-and-using-mushrooms-instead… pie.”
“Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue,” Sarah mutters, as I emerge pink-faced and slightly harassed.
“It’s a mushroom pie with all the flavours of a fish pie, making it more fish pie than mushroom pie in essence, so I can’t call it a mushroom pie, because it encompasses all things fish pie without the fish AND WHERE ARE MY FUCKING BRAZIL NUTS???!!!!!!”
“They’re on your desk.” Sarah points to a packet of Brazil nuts nestled in-between my pen pot and a box of Yorkshire Tea.
“Oh… Thanks.” I say in a small voice, realising my outburst was slightly louder than I was intending.
Sarah turns back to her screen. “Sounds nice,” she says. “But you should call it fish-less pie – bit more clever.”
“Yeah, alright” I say, through a mouthful of a least five Brazil nuts.


Fish-less pie
Serves 4 / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 1 hr / Gf ❄ 
You’ll need: 25mm x 20mm baking dish
Filling
30g unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
½ tsp sea salt flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
250g oyster mushroom
100g button mushrooms
200g smoked tofu, cubed
Juice of ½ a Lemon
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp capers
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 spring onions, chopped
5 tbs Greek yogurt
2 handfuls frozen peas (roughly 40g)
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Handful fresh dill, chopped
Mash
900g potatoes, peeled and cube (roughly 4 baking potatoes)
50g unsalted butter
5 tbs Semi-skimmed milk
1-2 tsp sea salt flakes 


Method
1. Fill a kettle with water and boil. Meanwhile, roughly peel and chop the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Pour over the boiling water from the kettle, add ½ a tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer.
2. Meanwhile, pre-heat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7 and make the pie filling. In another large saucepan or cooking pot, sweat the chopped onions in the butter for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat. Add the garlic and ½ a tsp of salt and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Tip the mushrooms out onto a chopping board and slice only the very large mushrooms in half, same goes for the button mushrooms. Add to the pot along with the smoked tofu cubes and stir carefully as to not break them up. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften.
4. Add the juice of ½ a lemon along with 2 tsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of capers, 1 tbs of white wine vinegar, 1 tsp of dijon mustard and 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Add the chopped spring onions, give it all a good stir and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Remove the the mushrooms from the heat, pop the lid on and put to one side to cool slightly while you make your mash.
6. Drain the potatoes and put back into the saucepan. Add 50g of butter, 1 to 2 tsp of salt and 5 tbs of milk. Give it all a good mash with a potato masher until you have your desired consistency (add more milk if needed).
7. Turning your attention back to the mushrooms, remove the lid and add the freshly chopped herbs and frozen peas and stir in the yogurt. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and level out evenly with the back of a spoon. Top with the mash and score with a fork. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins.
8. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, steamed vegetables and a good dollop of dijon mustard.

Fish-less pie
Fish-less pie

If you’ve had a go at making my fish-less pie or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com



– Vegetarian    Gf – Gluten free    ❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.




Butternut squash & sage soup

Butternut squash & sage soup
Butternut squash & sage soup
Butternut squash & sage soup

What the hell has happened to my skin? Over the past couple of weeks, my face has gone from practically blemish free to teenage pizza-face. I’m 34 years old, how is this happening? I just assumed adult acne was something made up by people who wanted to blame their bad skin on hormones and not on their diet of Mars bars and oven chips. But alas, I was wrong. My skin has turned on me and I am trying everything in my power to get it back on side. You name it, I’ve smeared it on my face – creams, scrubs, cleansers, serums, lotions, potions, even prayers – but nothing is working. If anything, I’ve angered it.
So, what’s the cause of my hormonal hell? Apparently, everything. From chemicals found in plastics to processed foods; from a bad night’s sleep to a stressful day at work; from pesticides found on our fruit and veg to the milk in our cup of tea. All of these factors like to fuck with our hormones – I was really hoping I could just buy a bottle of Clearasil and be done with it.
Instead, for the past few days, I’ve made a conscious effort to get eight hours sleep a night, do ten minutes of mindfulness a day and swap my cheesy dinners for this rather delightful dairy-free butternut squash and sage soup. The results? My skin is starting to look a little clearer and less itchy – woo-hoo! To celebrate, I got really drunk, ate a giant margarita pizza, went to bed at 3am and woke up feeling stressed… What?


Butternut squash & sage soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins /
V Vn Gf Df 
You’ll need: A food processor or hand blender
2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
14 sage leaves (extra for garnish)
600g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
400g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
½ tsp salt
1 litre of vegetable stock, I used 1 Knorr stock pot
Black pepper
Pomora extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. Roughly chop the onion and sweat in a tsp of rapeseed oil in a large pot, over a medium heat. Add half a tsp of salt, give it a stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes with the lid on. Once the onions start to soften, add the 14 sage leaves, give it another stir and return the lid.
2. Meanwhile, de-seed, peel and chop the butternut squash and peel and chop the sweet potato (no need to be to be too perfect about this, the soup will be blended later).
3. Add the butternut squash and sweet potato along with the stock and a good crack of black pepper. Bring to the boil before turning down the heat and simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on a jar.
4. Once the vegetables have softened, take off the heat and blend until smooth either with a hand blender or pour into a food processor.
5. If serving with fried sage leaves, add 1 tsp of rapeseed oil to small frying pan on a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the leaves and fry for a minute or so until slightly crispy and browned. Top your soup with the sage leaves and serve with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Butternut squash & sage soup
Butternut squash & sage soup

If you’ve had a go at making my butternut squash and sage soup or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Cheesy baked beans

Cheesy baked beans
Cheesy baked beans

I’ve spent months waiting impatiently for the conditions to be just right, biding my time and anticipating the day – this day – because today is the day I’ve been waiting for. It’s time for me to buy a jacket potato with beans and cheese from the jacket potato man.
I mean, sure, he’s been there all summer – I even walked past his stall several times, my head hanging low in an attempt to hide my identity, but he sees me, another traitorous customer walking straight past his van on their way to Pret. Well, I’m sorry Mr Potato Man, but who wants to eat hot potatoes in stifling heat?
But now that the nights are drawing in and the cold wind is smacking me in the face, I think yes, yes I will treat myself to a jacket potato the size of my head today – the irony being that they’re not even all that nice. Jacket Potato Man starts by ladling copious amounts of beans over a jacket spread with marge (he says it’s butter, but I know it’s marge). He then tops it with grated cheese that starts to sweat rather than melt because the jacket and the beans aren’t quite hot enough to melt the cheese. Back at my desk, though, I’m too hungry to care, so dive right in and instantly burn my mouth and oesophagus with molten hot potato because, for some reason, the middle of the jacket is the only part that’s actually hot – a bit like the centre of the earth. But despite all of this, I hoover it up and instantly fall into a deliciously warm carb coma and am useless at my job for the rest of the day.
So what is it about beans and cheese that’s so great? For me, it’s the nostalgia. After one bite I’m transported back to my sofa in Luton. Off sick from school I was allowed to eat my cheesy beans on toast on my lap in front of Supermarket Sweep. Such a simple memory, but one that invokes strong feelings of comfort, love and a longing for Dale Winton. So this is my tribute and homage to cheesy beans, baked in the oven and covered in melted cheese – a breakfast fit for an ‘90s TV show host. RIP Dale Winton.

Cheesy baked beans
Serves 4 / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 45 mins / V
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 can borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbs tomato purée
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
100g vegetarian medium cheddar, grated
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Bread to serve


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4. In a large oven-proof casserole dish, sweat the onions and garlic in a tsp of rapeseed oil on a medium to hight heat with the lid on for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add ½ a tsp of smoked paprika, a good pinch of salt and a dash of water. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes uncovered.
2. Add the tomato purée and stir in the chopped tomatoes, beans and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a tsp of brown sugar and stir.
3. Place the lid on ajar and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile grate the cheese and chop the parsley.
4. Remove the beans from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the grated cheese. Pop the lid back on ajar and bake in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Once melted, removed from the oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley and spoon out onto hot buttered toast.

Cheesy baked beans

If you’ve had a go at making my baked beans or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    – Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.


 

Middle Eastern pita nachos

Middle Eastern pita nachos
Middle Eastern pita nachos
Middle Eastern pita nachos

Sometimes when I don’t know what to write about, I refer to a list in my iPhone Notes that is inventively called ‘stories to write about’. This list is made up of a collection anecdotes, stories and quotes that I feel are noteworthy, funny, or just outright weird. The list is ongoing, but I rarely look at it, let alone read it as tend to add to it after I’ve had a few wines. Anyway, after an uncharacteristically dull week, I thought I’d rummage through the archives and found this little gem…
“Jamie ate a woodlouse off his chest after mistaking it for a beansprout.” That was all it said. Not context, no backstory, no nothing… Still, it did the job.

Anyhoo, let’s move on to some beany deliciousness. Inspired by Nigella’s beef and aubergine fatteh recipe I thought I’d have a go at making my own vegetarian equivalent. I loved the idea of using pitta chips as a base and topping them with gorgeous Middle Eastern ingredients and flavours. The result was hearty, wholesome and pretty as a picture.


Middle Eastern pita nachos
Serves 2 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 40 mins /
V ❄ 
2 tbs rapeseed oil
2 wholemeal pita breads
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
Pinch chili flakes
1 medium sized aubergine, cut into small cubes
1 tbs tomato puree
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, sliced
To serve
80g vegetarian feta cheese
Pomegranate seeds
Chopped parsley
Sumac (optional)


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Pour a tbs of rapeseed oil into a small dish and using a brush, paint the baking paper with the oil. Cut the pita bread into triangles and place on the baking tray. Using the brush, paint each piece with oil before seasoning well with salt and pepper. Bake the pita in the oven for 5 minutes before flipping each pita triangle and baking for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and put to one side.
2. In a large saucepan or cooking pot with a lid, add a tbs of rapeseed oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onions, garlic and aubergine cubes and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Once softened, stir in the cumin, coriander, salt and chilli flakes. Add a dash of water and stir again, cooking for a couple of minutes.
4. Mix in the tomato puree before adding the tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans, sliced tomato and 100mls of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Up the heat slightly and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, chop the parsley and prepare the pomegranate seeds.
5. Once cooked, take off the heat and stir in a handful of parsley (keep a little back if you want to add a sprinkle for decoration).
6. Finally, divide the pita chips onto 2 plates and top generously with the bean mixture. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle with chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a dusting of sumac.

Middle Eastern pita nachos
Middle Eastern pita nachos


If you’ve had a go at making my Middle Eastern nachos or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian ❄– The bean mixture is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Green spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara

Admittedly I’ve never tried spaghetti carbonara, so I have no comparison, but from what I’ve heard it’s the bacon that gives this dish the smoky, salty hit that it’s so famous for. Take the bacon away and all you’re left with is eggy spaghetti… Scrummy. So I’ve added some greens and a rather questionable ingredient – smoked tofu. Believe me, I was as unconvinced as you undoubtedly are, but a small diced amount brings the subtle smoky flavour this dish requires. Failing that, I have a packet of Frazzles on standby.


Green spaghetti carbonara
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 25 mins 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
150g spaghetti
1 courgette, grated
80g smoked tofu, diced
½ tsp smoked paprika + extra for sprinkling
100g baby spinach
3 tbs Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp horseradish sauce
40g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or *Parmesan, grated
2 eggs
140g dried spaghetti
Chopped parsley to serve (optional)
Drizzle Pomora extra virgin olive oil (optional)


Method
1. Start by putting a kettle on to boil and grating the courgette and chopping the tofu into small pieces. Once boiled, pour the water into a medium sized saucepan and place over a medium heat, bring to a simmer but don’t add the spaghetti just yet.
2. In a separate large saucepan or cooking pot, add the oil and place over a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the courgette along with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the tofu pieces, half a teaspoon of smoked paprika and give it a stir. Turn the heat down to medium and gently cook, stirring occationally. Now is a good time to add the spaghetti to the simmering water (follow the packet instructions and cook to your desired level of al dente).
3. Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, horseradish and crushed garlic in a small mixing bowl. Grate in the cheese, add the eggs and a generous pinch of pepper. Stir well and put to one side.
4. Add the spinach to the courgette mixture a handful at a time until wilted. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add straight into the pot. Pour over the carbonara sauce and stir carefully to coat the pasta. Season well with salt and pepper before turning up the heat and cook for a few more minutes.
5. Divide into bowls and finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper.

Spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara


If you’ve had a go at making my spaghetti carbonara or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Celeriac baked rice ​with goats cheese

Celeriac baked rice with goats cheese
Celariac baked rice with goats cheese
Celeriac baked rice with goats cheese

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, although it’s hard not to when you’re staring down at the misshapen, ugly face of a celeriac. Its knobbly, gnarly and often hairy skin looks like something out of a science fiction film.
Like a lot of people, I am guilty of overlooking this vegetable, but I felt sorry for it sitting on the shelf next to the prettier and cutely named munchkin pumpkin – the celeriac never have a chance. So I took his ugly mug home and lovingly peeled, chopped and roasted him in this delicious rice dish. It’s what he would have wanted.


Celeriac baked rice ​with goats cheese
Serves 4 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 1 hr 15 mins / V Gf
You’ll need: A deep oven-proof casserole dish
2 tbs rapeseed oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 medium sized celeriac (roughly 650g), peeled and cut into large chunks
½ tsp garlic granules
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch chilli flakes
500ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot
200g brown basmati rice
4 rosemary sprigs
150g vegetarian goats cheese (including rind)
85g black olives, drained and halved
Fresh parsley, chopped


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/428°F/gas mark 7. Add the chopped onion and the garlic to a deep casserole dish along with the rapeseed oil, garlic granules, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. Give it all a good stir.
2. Peel and cut the celeriac into large pieces and add to the dish. Using a spoon, turn the celeriac in the marinade until the pieces are evenly coated. Add the rice and pour over the vegetable stock and stir carefully. Make sure the rice is fully immersed under the stock before adding the rosemary springs. Cover the dish in a layer of tin foil and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, roughly cut the goats cheese into chunks, finely chop the parsley and half the black olives. Put to one side.
4. Once cooked, remove the rice from the oven and discard the foil. Taste the rice to check it’s cooked (if the rice is still a little tough, cover in foil and return to the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Wholegrain basmati rice is a little firmer than regular basmati so will still have a bit of bite to it even when cooked).
5. Top the rice with goats cheese and sprinkle with fresh parsley and black olives. Serve with a simple green salad.

Celeriac baked rice with goats cheese
Celeriac baked rice with goats cheese


If you’ve had a go at making my celeriac baked rice or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian.   Gf– Gluten free   ❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.