Category Archives: sauce

Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta

Seasonal, delicious and super garlic-y, this pasta in a blended sauce makes a filling and nutritious meal. The texture of the pumpkin with the pasta works really well. Quantities are for four large portions.

You could use the scooped out flesh of a carving pumpkin for this recipe though culinary ones are more flavourful.

For the sauce:
1 culinary pumpkin, deseeded and chopped into chunks
1 bulb of garlic, with the cloves separated and peeled
a little olive oil
a handful of cashew nuts
the juice and rind of 1 lemon
a little salt
1 apple, roughly chopped

Place the chopped pumpkin and peeled garlic in a roasting tin and coat well with the olive oil (with hands is best). Roast for about half an hour at 200C/400F, then leave to cool.

Prepare pasta of your choice according to packet instructions.

While the pasta is cooking you can make the sauce. Remove the skin from the pumpkin chunks and place them in a  blender with all the other sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick add a little water and blend again.

Once the pasta is ready, stir in the sauce and there you go. Yummy Autumnal goodness!

Spicy variant: add a  couple of red chillies to the roasting pan and to the mix (best to deseed them after roasting).


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Chunky Purple Pasta

purple pasta

A delicious and thrifty dish, made all the more frugal in this instance by the aubergine and beetroot being obtained during Tesco’s 2p evening reduction time (may not be all stores and times vary, worth asking).

Ingredients for sauce (amount serves four):
a little olive oil
1 leek, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
a bunch of fresh beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
2 small aubergines, cubed
1 courgette, also cubed
1 pack of passata (we prefer Lidl’s cheap brand to Tesco value, much nicer)
1 can of red kidney beans
2 teaspoons of dried oregano (or other herbs, fresh are nice too)
salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, fry the vegetables in the oil until softened then add the passata. Bring to the boil, adding beans, herbs and seasoning as you go, water if too thick, tomato puree if too thin. Turn down to a simmer until all is cooked, probably for about 20 minutes; test for seasoning, adjust if needed, and pile the sauce on top of your pasta. Garnish with parsley and enjoy.



gluten-free veggie lasagne

lasange

This was made with gluten free lasagne sheets found in Lidl (Jan 2015), making it especially frugal, though many brands exist and the recipe will work with wheat based products too. It made enough for four huge portions or six medium.

Ingredients:
1 250g pack of lasagne sheets

For the tomato sauce:
a little olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 aubergine, cut into small chunks
4 sticks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 500g pack of passata
about 2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of dried oregano or other dried herbs
salt to taste
Method: fry the vegetables in the oil for a few minutes until softened. Add the passata, rinse out the pack/bottle with the water before adding it to the sauce. Bring to the boil, add your herbs and salt.

In a flat oven proof dish layer up the lasagne and the tomato sauce. It’s best to put a little sauce on the bottom to prevent sticking. The Lidl brand of lasagne did not need pre soaking (thank goodness! It always sticks together!) but check the instructions on your pack. Make the top layer sauce too.

For the white topping sauce:
1 tablespoon of vegetable margarine
1 tablespoon of gluten free flour
about a cup of soya milk
salt and pepper to taste
Method: melt the margarine and stir in the flour. Gradually add the milk over a medium heat, stirring all the time to avoid lumps (though don’t worry too much, in this dish they’re not very noticeable), until the sauce thickens. Add your seasoning and pour onto the top of the lasagne.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for at least forty minutes or until a knife slides easily into the middle of the lasagne.

Variations:
1. This recipe used the most basic of vegetables, you can use whatever you have to hand: peppers, courgettes, peas, sweetcorn. We added sweetcorn to the white sauce pictured.
2. A layer of tinned spinach instead of the last layer of tomato sauce is very nice and juicy. Ditto mushrooms.
3. We topped with a small packet of sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
4. You can add tomato puree if the sauce seems overly runny, though remember it does need to have more liquid than plain pasta sauce as the lasagne will absorb some of it.

lasange



wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic grows wild in woodland areas – best harvested in April and May before the flowers are fully out, but still good then. Easily identifiable by their strong garlic scent! The leaves are good in soups, stews, sauces, anywhere you want a garlic flavour. The flowers are also good to add to cooking or fry into fritters.

For the pesto: gather a couple of bunches of wild garlic leaves, wash, place in blender with small bag of nuts or seeds such as pinenuts, brazils, cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, gradually adding enough olive oil to blend smoothly as you go. Once blended, mix into pasta. Pictured served with salad and some sesame seeds stirred in.

variants: you can use traditional basil or other herbs instead of or as well as wild garlic adding lemon juice lessens the amount of oil needed other nice inclusions are nettles (yes really) and black pepper pesto is also nice mixed into boiled potatoes, in sandwiches, or diluted with vinegar/lemon juice and made into a salad dressing.

Other wild food recipes on site: nettle soupcreamy carrot and wild garlic soup and dandelion fritters

wildgarlicnew

Many other wild garlic and wild food recipes are to be found on the tasty herbalist blog
 



mushroom gravy

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8-10 large portabello or other large, flat mushrooms, cut into 3 cm cubes (roughly)
2 cups of water
seasalt to taste
1 cup of gravy mix (original Bisto or cheap equivilent! – use 3 teaspoons of powder for 1 cup of water)

Fry the onion in the sunflower oil for a few minutes and then add the cubed mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms soften (five minutes approx) then add the water and gravy mix – stir until thickened. This is great served on spaghetti, over rice or baked potatoes.

Pictured mushrooms for prettiness; we don’t know if they’re edible!

tomato sauce for pasta

Pasta is a very economical main meal ingredient. Most shops have a variety of shapes available very cheaply and it is so versatile. This is a basic sauce recipe which costs a fraction of the price of ready made jars and tastes better too. It can be jazzed up in many ways – see suggestions at the end.pasta

Ingredients:
A little olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 can (approx. 400g) tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons of tomato puree
1 or 2 Tablespoons of oregano or mixed herbs
1 cup of veg. stock or water
salt to taste

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet. While it is cooking fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes, puree, stock or water, salt and herbs and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.

That is the basic sauce – you can add anything you like to it. Any vegetables (see which are on offer this week in the shops?) chopped and added with the tomatoes etc. soya mince for a more traditional bolognese type sauce. Beans, sweetcorn, peas.

A sweet and sour sauce is easy to make also – add a can of pineapple pieces in pineapple juice and leave out the herbs. A little vinegar is added too and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Also see: Chunky Purple Pasta