For my birthday, my mom gifted me Plenty, a cookbook filled with recipes from the owner of Ottolenghi, an esteemed London restaurant. None of the dishes are made with meat or fish, which makes my job easier because I don’t have to adapt anything. I think when people serve meat, meals have a more sectional approach; plates are divided into neat meat, starch and vegetable components. When making a vegetarian recipe however, you’re much more likely to have everything mixed in just one dish. Personally, I think it’s a lot easier. Instead of having to plan tasty, separate recipes for chicken and pasta and broccoli for example, you can just make crunchy pappardelle, like I did below.

I’ve enjoyed pouring over Plenty for inspiration. Some of the recipes seem a little ambitious but I’ve been in a cooking rut lately. I haven’t been in the mood for pasta much, which is odd because I used to more-or-less only eat pasta. Crunchy pappardelle immediately stood out to me though because of the ingredient list: mushrooms, white wine, thyme, lemon, parsley, broccolini and panko bread crumbs. I left out the cream and didn’t have any bay leaf on hand, but otherwise I followed this fairly easy recipe and the end result was quite good.

Often when cooking, my final dish looks nothing similar to the perfectly staged photograph printed alongside the recipe. This time, I came quite close! Not only was it tasty, it also looked complicated and pretty — a nice motivation to start making and trying new things.


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