After receiving Jamie’s 30 minute meals for Christmas, I have dabbled in and out of various recipes in the book. I have only cooked a couple of complete whole meals from scratch as this isn't a great book for Vegetarian mains. However, I love the introduction which explains what kitchen equipment you need and how to sort it. I also love the family-style sharing ethos of the book. Jamie’s recipe book is fab for sides and yummy puddings and so I have cooked lots of the dishes singly (who knew they could be so easy?).
I adapted “Pregnant Jools's Pasta” to make my “Not So Pregnant Vegetarian Pasta” by swapping the meat sausages for vegetarian ones - a quick and easy alternative. As Parmesan is not vegetarian, I found a great cheese on-line called “Not just a pasta cheese” by Bookhams, which can be used in place of the Parmesan. Lastly, I left out the chillies as my kid’s aren’t a big fan of them.
My “Not So Pregnant Vegetarian Pasta”
(Adapted from Jamie's Pregnant Jools's Pasta).
4 Spring Onions1 Carrot
1 Stick of Celery
400g Quorn Frozen Sausages
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Dried Oregano
500g Penne Pasta
4 Cloves of Garlic
4 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 400g Chopped Tomatoes
100-150g “Not Just a Pasta Cheese” (available from Bookhams)
Fresh Basil to decorate
1) Grill the Quorn sausages for 15-20 minutes under a high heat, turning until cooked
2) Boil the kettle and place a large saucepan for the pasta on the hob
3) Heat a large frying pan over a high heat
4) Trim the spring onions, carrot and celery. Roughly chop the vegetables and then blitz in the food processor
5) Chop the cooked sausages and add to the food processor along with the oregano and fennel seeds. Keep pulsing until well mixed. Spoon into a hot frying pan with some olive oil, breaking up and stirring as you go. Keep checking and stirring the mixture.
6) Fill the saucepan with boiled water and out on a low heat. Top up with more boiled water if needed. Add a little olive oil to the water to stop the pasta sticking together, and then add the Penne. Season, and cook according to the instructions with the lid askew
7) Crush 4 unpeeled garlic cloves into the sausage mixture and stir in the 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the chopped tomatoes. If needed, add some starch water from the pasta to loosen. Keep stirring whilst the pasta cooks.
8) Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving about a wine-glass full of the cooking water.
9) Tip the pasta into the pan of sauce and stir to combine. Add enough of the water to bring it to a silky consistency if required. Taste, correct the seasoning and then tip in a large bowl
10) Sprinkle some “not just a pasta” cheese liberally over the top and decorate with basil
11) Take straight to the table to serve immediately
I served this with a Waitrose Watercress, rocket and spinach salad and some garlic bread.