Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

31/01/2011

Caffè Nero Red Pepper Penne

Filed under: Eating out — Tags: , , , — Feòrag @ 18:29

I’m at London City Airport awaiting a flight home. It’s usually a desert for vegans (except those excessively fond of fruit), but I noticed Caffè Nero had a pasta dish labelled as being vegan.

Caffè Nero Penne

I was hungry enough to give it a go. It scores poorly on presentation, being served in the plastic container in which it is displayed. But, it’s not bad at all. One of the best ready meal pastas I’ve ever had, and better than some Italian restaurants. The pasta was al dente, and the sauce just spicy enough to be worth bothering. The peppers were a bit mushy, though, and the portion size reflects the price – about £3.50 at an airport. Still hungry.

One point – they will offer to put cheese on it for you. If they don’t, ask them not to.

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21/04/2009

Quick springtime pasta

Filed under: Recipes and techniques — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 15:48

I’m on my travels at the moment, and staying with friends who are feeding me really well. Today’s lunch was taken from BBC Good Food magazine, not sure which issue – the original recipe wasn’t vegan, but making it so is completely trivial. It claims to serve 4, but that would be as part of a full meal. It serves about 3 really, or two hungry people who know they’re not going to eat for a bit.

1 tbl olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed (much more was used!)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
(generous) handful fresh basil, chopped
400g spaghetti (4/5 of a standard package)
290g jar chargrilled artichokes, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
(generous) handful flat leaf parsley, chopped

We used the oil from the artichokes for frying, and when boiling the spaghetti.

Put on a pot of water to boil before you start getting everything together.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan (or wok, in this case), add the garlic and cook for a minute until lightly coloured. Pour in the the chopped tomatoes then stir in the basil. Bring up to the boil then turn down the heat and gently simmer for 10mins or, in the real world, until the spaghetti is done.

Hopefully the water has come to the boil by now, so cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.

Add the artichokes to the tomato sauce until heated through, then either add it to the spaghetti, or add the spaghetti to it, depending on which pan is bigger! Stir in most of the chopped parsley (leave a bit for garnishing). If the sauce is a bit dry, add a drop of water at this point and re-heat. Serve immediately, garnished with the rest of the parsley.

Possible variation: As my other half almost certainly doesn’t like artichokes, I’m going to try the same technique using wild mushroom antipasto and/or roast aubergines and peppers.

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