Friday, 6 March 2015

K on Jamie's Cheesey, creamy sauce...

It's K again, this time sharing a veganised version of a Jamie O recipe.

I’ve never really been a fan of celebrity chefs, despite watching way too many episodes of cooking shows… But when I was at uni, I lived with two people who had a real thing for famous foodies: one had a girl crush on the saucy Nigella, and the other came from a family of Jamie Oliver fans. 

And one day, the J.O fan cooked me his creamy, cheesy, tomatoey aubergine and pasta dish which I fell in love with. It became a staple meal in my repertoire, which began to develop at uni when I actually became interested in cooking and leaning new recipes. 

Then I went vegan, and the meal wasn’t an option. Jamie does have a wide selection of vegan dishes on his website though.  BUT I wanted the creamy cheesy tomatoey goodness again, so I thought I’d give it a shot using vegan imitations. 

It’s quite a simple recipe which you can easily add or subtract from/ get creative with. 

You’ll need:
An aubergine.
2-3 cloves of garlic.
2 onions- red or white, whatever you have to hand/prefer.
Olive Oil.
Salt and Pepper
A tin of chopped Tomatoes.
Tomato Puree (optional.)
Balsamic Vinegar. 
Soya Cream or a dairy free cream alternative.
Vegan imitation mozzarella cheese, or one that is meant to melt. 
Basil (optional.)

Firstly, chop up your onions and garlic all nice and fine, and whack them in the pan with a glug of olive oil over a low heat to soften. 

While that is occurring, cut up your aubergine. I do mine about as big as in the snap below, but you can do them as big/small as you like it’ll just alter cooking time. 

By the time you’ve chopped that all up your onion and garlic should be ready to have the aubergine added in, and gently cook it until it starts to get tender. 

Once you’ve reached that stage, whack in some seasoning, stir, and then pour in the chopped tinned tomatoes, and some puree if you have some to hand. 

Bring it all to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer until the aubergine is nice and soft (or if you prefer it a little differently, alter to your taste.)

With that doing it’s thing, salt some water, bring it to the boil and add the pasta in. 

When you’re about five minutes away from the pasta being cooked, add the cream. I tend to just pour it in until the sauce is a similar shade to the image above. But you can add as much or as little as you like/have available. Mix it in well and leave on a low heat. 

Then cut half a block of the vegan cheese (or more) into small chunks and stir it through the sauce, along with 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, before draining the pasta off and then chucking it in the sauce as well and mixing it all together.  Add some chopped fresh basil and stir it in too. 

Whack it in a bowl, eat, enjoy. It may not look the most attractive, but it sure tastes yum.

N.B. I did this without the 'cheese', and liked it just as much. Personally, I found the 'cheese' didn’t melt as much as I anticipated. But G said he much preferred it with the addition of the mozzarella style goodness. So I guess it’s just personal preference! 

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