I was very fortunate to have a friend over from Dubai last week! We had a great time, but there was a lot of merry making and my body has taken a bit of a battering and I'm feeling a bit run down. Also, my partner is on call this week, which means no alcohol, so we have decided that we would have a relaxing week with some healthy food and so we are going vegetarian all week, to help give our bodies a boost.
I was a veggie for over 12 years, but I eventually fell for a roast chicken dinner which is still my favourite meal and being a veggie doesn't mean you are having a healthy diet. So this is going to be a challenge to find tasty healthy vegetarian food.
Monday I am making Minestrone Alla Milanese (chunky vegetable and pasta soup), which I have got from Gino D'Acampo book called Gino's Pasta, which was a gift from my friend Jeff. It's a very fresh, light yet hearty soup with just a hint of the aromatic herb, basil. Just what is needed on a wet, windy cold and miserable nights. I made a mistake of getting permission from the publishers after I had posted my blog and although I was given permission to use Gino's recipe I was excused of "raiding" the book and it was very clear they where not happy. With this in mind I decided not to use Gino's version and did some research on the dish. Like spaghetti bolognese and chilli con carne there are a lot of different versions and below is the standard recipe but have added some weblinks with different versions.
- olive oil
- onions, chopped
- carrots, washed and chopped
- potatoes, peeled and chopped
- celery, chopped
- cabbage (white or green)
- 1 ltr of vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock if not a vegetarian)
- pasta shells
- handful of basil leaves
- grated parmesan
Pour in the stock and cook for between 10-15 minutes. Add the pasta, (I used conchigliette) and cook until pasta is cooked.
Put the basil and garlic in a pestle and motar and bash until you almost have a paste. Then add to the broth.
Serve in bowls and sprinkle on the cheese
In the links below you will see versions were they use leeks, tomatoes, arboio rice, cannelli beans and other vegetables. I even put a link to the Milan Tourist board saying that there appears to be no "official" version as it changes with the seasons and what vegetables are available at the time