Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Miso and Walnuts

I hadn’t really cooked any dishes from Ottolenghi’s books for about a year (and it would be another 6 months before I went back to cooking his recipes regularly). When I began cooking from Plenty More again, I realised 2 things: Firstly how much I had missed the flavours of Ottolenghi, and secondly I remembered the almost tedious number of processes in each recipe.

The deep sweetness and intensity produced by miso paste, combined with other Japanese staples, are guaranteed to put a smile on your dial on an overcast Winter or Early Spring day.

This one is no different. It has 7, yes seven, different processes with associated pots, pans and equipment. Make the vegetarian dashi, ribbon cut and soak ginger and spring onions, prep the eggplants, deep fry the eggplants, saute the onions, walnuts etc, make the sauce, cook the noodles.

So Ottolenghi flavours come at a price. Leave an afternoon free – at least several hours to cook and clean up – when making any of his dishes.

To be fair though – the man I call the Master of Flavour produces amazing dishes that makes the hours worth the effort!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. You can see the original recipe here.

Similar recipes include Roasted Eggplant with Special Miso Sauce, Deep Fried Eggplant, Ginger Scallion Noodles, and Udon Noodles and Shimejii Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Japanese dishes and all of our Eggplant recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Minestrone alla Genovese | Genoese Minestrone with Pesto

How most excellent is pesto and its cousin pistou swirled into vegetable soups! We do it in our 13 Treasure Happiness Soup, so called because it brings a sense of joy and happiness to anyone who eats it. More correctly it is a Provencale Vegetable Soup.

Our soup today is one of the Italian ones that combines pasta and dried beans, a classic soup pairing, with vegetables. The pasta used can be Vermicelli or Maltagliati – the irregular shapes of pasta designed to go into soups. A hand made pesto crowns the soup and is swirled through the soup before eating – a process that adds to the joy of hot soup on a cold day.

Similar Soups include 31 Soups for Winter, 13 Treasure Happiness Soup, and Chickpea and Butterbean Noodle Soup.

Browse our Minestrone Soups and all of our Soups. Our Italian dishes are here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli Borlotti | Italian Borlotti Bean and Pasta Soup

What is a Minestra? Minestra predates zuppa (another type of Italian soup) by a few centuries. Derived from the Latin ministrare, meaning to administer, the word reflects how minestra was served from a large bowl or pot by the figurehead in the household. Minestra was traditionally the principal – and often the only – dish served in a meal.

Today it is a rather umbrella term referring to a first course of vegetables, legumes, pasta or rice cooked in a stock.  Minestrone is one of many minestra soups. Regional variations abound but a minestrone always includes a vegetable that will thicken the soup, such as fresh or dried beans, potatoes or pumpkin. It must also include pasta or rice. Our soup today is a type of Minestrone (Minestrone di Fagioli or Minestrone di Pasta e Fagioli), one that does not include a large variety of vegetables. You will find similar soups under many different names as your browse the internet.

Similar dishes include 31 Soups for Winter, Greek White Bean Soup, Dried Fava Bean Soup, and Turtle Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Soups and all of our Italian dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms

In Australia, we usually eat our noodles hot, but in Japan, noodles – especially soba noodles – are often consumed cold. They are flavoursome, textural and refreshing, and a great base or carrier for other flavours.

This dish pairs some quick pickled Shimeji mushrooms, carrots, radishes, snow peas and nori seaweed with the noodles. It is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty More and is is a great Summer dish.

Yotham says:

Cold noodles are a Japanese art form. On a trip to Tokyo a few years ago I queued with a bunch of suited businessmen to have lunch in one of the city’s most renowned soba noodle restaurants. It was incredibly humbling to watch a bunch of very busy people putting aside time to sit quietly for half an hour and completely immerse themselves in the appreciation of the profound subtlety of the noodles. Enlightenment still escapes me but I’ve had my own little life moments in various London noodles bars in recent months.

I ordered a “Cold Soba Noodle Bowl” in Sydney recently, looking forward to the noodles. Sadly it was 99% shredded raw veggies, and 1% noodles. This dish fixes that ratio with a more balanced serve of noodles with the herbs and vegetables. Delicious!

Similar recipes include Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Glass Noodles with Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Soba Noodle dishes and our Shimeji recipes. Our recipes from Plenty More are here. Or explore our recipes for Late Summer.

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Ginger Scallion Noodles

Oh those nights in the various China Towns of the world, eating noodles and congee and salt and pepper tofu, and wonderful silky eggplants. Simple dishes are tasty and elegant, in a way that sometimes we forget. Paring back to basics gives such good dishes.

For this dish you will need a basic Ginger Scallion Sauce (we call them Spring Onions, but it doesn’t sound as good). The sauce is useful in the kitchen and is one of my pastes, purees, powders, stocks and sauces that commonly grace my quiet kitchen bench. It is useful in so many ways – into soups and broths it goes, over rice with some deep fried tofu and shredded vegetables, drizzled onto bok choy with or without noodles, smeared on sandwiches.

Once you have the sauce, all you need for this recipe is some noodles and some veg. That’s it. And variations are endless. Make it as simple or as fussy as you like.

Similar recipes include Sesame-Chilli-Soy Dipping Sauce, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes, our Dipping Sauces and all of our Asian recipes. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

How extraordinary noodles are, and oh! What a variety! Think Japanese noodles, Chinese Noodles, Italian Noodles (pasta), Indian noodles (lots of them using interesting flours), noodles from Eastern Europe, and I guess there are many more around the world. Soba noodles are Japanese, and they make delightful cold dishes as well as hot. In Summer, cold Soba noodle dishes are almost like salads.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one day per month where we publish  recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Ottolenghi has the occasional noodle dish, and our current focus on his books brought us to this recipe in his book Plenty. It brings together mango and charred eggplant in a way that makes it seem way out there, but is perfectly balanced. It is such a surprising combination of flavours and that makes this a memorable dish from the first bite – sweet from the mango and savoury from the eggplant. It is a beautiful noodle for hot summer nights or for a simple weeknight dinner any night of the year. The leftovers only get better in the refrigerator, so Yotham highly recommends making enough for lunch leftovers.

This recipe calls for a lot of oil in which to fry the eggplant (from 220 – 300 ml in different versions Yotham has printed). But the frying turns the eggplant soft and silky, and almost meaty, if a vegetarian can say that. Follow your heart, but I do recommend frying in the amount of oil that he suggests.

Similar recipes include Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes and all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottoleghi recipes from Plenty are here. Or explore our dishes for Late Summer.

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Pasta with Minty Broad Bean Puree and Crispy Garlic Chips

Broad Beans make great purees. You can use young pods, tender beans or dried fava beans, and we have some of those recipes here on the blog. One of the ways that you can use the puree is as a pasta sauce! That is what we are going today.

First we make a puree with broad beans, mint, garlic and pecorino. It is called Salsa Marò or simply Marò, from Liguria in Italy. It is often compared to a pesto, but it does not include nuts. Perhaps it more closely resembles the Nicois pistou which is similar to pesto without nuts.

Marò can be used as a dip or spread. Try the puree on a toasted piece of crunchy bread, perhaps with some soft cheese. But it also works well with pasta, as we do here. Use spaghetti, bucatini or penne – really it will work well with many different pastas, even oricchette.

Similar recipes include Tuscan Broad Bean Puree, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Broad Beans with Crispy Garlic, and Pan Fried Broad Beans with Chilli, Lime and Garlic.

You can browse all of our Broad Bean dishes, all of our Pasta dishes, and our Purees of various forms. See just our Broad Bean Purees. Our Italian dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame

Do you have those times when Spring Onions (scallions, green onions) pile up in the fridge, forgotten? They are generally used in salads or as a garnish for soups and other dishes but rarely shine as a main ingredient. It is time to change that, and Ottolenghi is just the person to provide some inspiration.

This is one of Ottolenghi’s dishes that is a breeze to make, relatively speaking. In our Plenty More project, we’ve been making some of his more complex, time consuming and multi-pot making recipes, so it is a delight to make a dish that is simpler in preparation.

Yes, it is a dish from Plenty More, and is a simple stir fry of Spring Onions and Edamame, mixed with noodles, topped with coriander leaves and sesame seeds and dressed with Sesame oil, rice vinegar and lime juice. Don’t forget the lime – it is critical to this dish.

This is excellent with Steamed Aubergine.

Similar dishes include Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Ginger Scallion Noodles, Pan Fried Edamame with Chilli, Lime and Salt, Spring Onion Soup, and Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle recipes and all of our Edamame dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Rocket Salad with Penne Pasta

Rocket, or arugala as it is called in some parts of the world, goes so well with pasta. This salad, quite simple to make, mixes the two with a lemony dressing.  It is a more filling salad than those that we have made lately, so very suitable for cooler weather during Late Summer and Autumn, and also as Winter approaches.

Are you looking for other Pasta dishes? Try Pasta with Zucchini, Pasta with Cauliflower, Light Pasta Salads for Lunch, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Feta.

Browse all of our Pasta recipes. This is a Bittman Salad, and others can be browsed here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Lentils and Orzo Pasta with Caramelised Onions

Orzo, that tiny rice shaped pasta not to be confused with barley which is  called orzo in Italy, pairs well with rice and with lentils. In this Greek dish it is cooked with lentils or beans and then topped with deeply flavoured caramelised onions. Yum.

There is some debate about whether the practice of combining pasta and lentils began in Italy or Greece, but what is known is that regions in both countries have traditionally made this pairing. It extends through the Middle East where rice and short pieces of noodles are also cooked together.

Similar dishes include Orzo and Rice, and Orzo Salad with Spinach and Pinenuts.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes, and all of our Greek dishes. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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