Saturday, March 14, 2015

Avocotta Lasagna Rolls

I swear I woke up in the middle of the night recently and thought "Avocatta".  The next day I went online to see if there was any semblance of such a thing but did not find much.  As I thought more about what this concoction could be I started to visualize a lasagna roll up but instead of the traditional ricotta to fill in with avocado.



Success!  These were really easy to throw together, were really flavorful and were also very filling. I am not sure why there are not more recipes out there that substitute avocado for ricotta. Maybe because avocado is often associated with Mexican cuisine and lasagna with Italian.  I don't know, but I am glad I decided to try this as it was very tasty. I love the creaminess of the avocado blended with more traditional Italian flavors.



If you like avocado and you like Italian I think you will find this a winning combination. I think there is a lot of opportunity to change what you add into the mix.  Already I am thinking roasted red peppers would make a good add.

This made five rolls for me. If you want to make more just adjust the amount of filling you use in each or increase the amount of filling you make.  As for the vegan Parm, I provided a link to another recipe that has the directions contained within.

Avocatta Lasagna Rolls

5 lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions
2 ripe avocados, pitted
2 tbsp vegan Parmesan
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil (if using fresh increase the amount)
1/3 cup chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
6 grape tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup or more marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the filling by combining the avocado, vegan Parmesan, garlic powder, basil, spinach, parsley, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Mash until well combined but not totally smooth.

Prepare a baking dish by covering the bottom with some of the marinara sauce.

Lay one lasagna noodle on a flat surface and spread some of the mixture on its entire length. Roll the noodle into a cylinder and place it upright in the dish prepared with the marinara. Repeat with all remaining noodles.



Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.  Drizzle with extra marinara and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.  I also sprinkled some leftover breadcrumb gremolata on them. It was a nice touch but nt necessary.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Fettuccine with Lemon "Butter", Capers and Breadcrumb Gremolata

There are few things I love more than cooking and one of them is cooking with my daughter.  She has been after me to make pasta from scratch for a while now.  I had purchased a pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer a while back and it has yet to see any action. Until yesterday, that is.



She and I had a good time making the pasta and an even better time eating it. I pulled this dish together from a variety of recipes I found online. The pasta is Vegan Dad's and the Breadcrumb Gremolata I used The Wimpy Vegetarian's recipe and modified it with some homemade vegan "Parmesan" a la The Minimalist Baker and some extra lemon zest. I did not have very high expectations for the Parm and thus I was very pleasantly surprised- it was great even just on its own! Thankfully the recipe makes a bunch so I have some leftover for other uses.

This takes a little bit of time and effort and is well worth it as it is a flavorful, hearty and satisfying dish.  I love lemon in just about anything and the lemon really shines through in this dish. If you don't have the wear with all to tackle homemade pasta then by all means use the stuff that comes in a box!



I will make this again and again, it's that good.

Fettuccine with Lemon "Butter",  Capers and Breadcrumb Gremolata

For the pasta:
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup water

For the Gremolata:
1 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own from day old whole grain ciabatta bread)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese (recipe below)
2 tbsp minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Lemon "Butter" Sauce:
2 tbsp vegan butter (or more to taste)
1/3 cup white wine
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp capers
Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegan Parmesan Cheese:
3/4 cup raw cashews
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder


Prepare the pasta by combining all ingredients in a food processor until a dough is formed. If the dough seems dry add more water a tablespoon at a time. The dough should hold together well and not be overly sticky or wet.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, no more than about five minutes.  Put through your pasta machine according to its directions and set the pasta on a lightly floured surface or over a cabinet door to dry. Allow to dry for about 30 minutes.

While pasta is drying make the vegan Parmesan by putting all ingredients into a food processor until a fine powder develops.  Set aside.

To prepare the gremolata heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.  Add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and saute until the breadcrumbs begin to crisp up.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and vegan parmesan cheese.  Transfer to another container to cool.

Heat 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil to cook the pasta.

While the water is heating prepare the lemon "butter" sauce by adding the two tablespoons of vegan butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the lemon juice, wine and flour.  Whisk until sauce begins to thicken and add salt and pepper to taste. Note: you may adjust the wine/lemon/butter quantities to suit your personal taste.

Once the water is boiling add the pasta and  cook for 1-2 minutes until it reaches desired doneness. Drain and add to the lemon "butter" sauce and add capers. Toss to coat.

To serve top pasta with the gremolata and additional lemon zest and parsley if desired.