Four great Italian vegetarian recipes

Most people enjoy Italian food in some shape or form. The potential to transform a few ingredients into something magical carries universal appeal.

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Vegetarian diets cut down your risk of heart disease, according to the NHS. If you can’t make it to one of your favourite Italian restaurants in Dublin, we’ve put a great vegetarian menu together for you to try at home.

Tossed Porcini

Find four porcini mushrooms. Use fresh produce with white stalks and unbroken brown caps that are not over-ripe. Don’t wash them. Wipe the heads with a damp cloth and remove the outer stems, then peel and finely slice and set aside. Combine 100ml of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper to make the dressing. Toss with washed and dried rocket leaves before plating. Finally, top with the porcini and add a dash of olive oil and a handful of crushed thyme.

Spinach Gnocchi

Prepare by frying a small bunch of marjoram in butter. Combine with 1kg of fresh spinach leaves, stir and leave to cool.

Whip 400gr of ricotta with a fork and sift in 40g of flour. Add three egg yolks, 120g Parmesan and nutmeg before folding in the spinach mixture. Shape the gnocchi with two spoons to create 2cm pieces.

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Cook the gnocchi as you normally would and serve with sage and butter. The result will be so professional, you’ll think you’re dining at one of the top Italian restaurants like

Fragrant Risotto

Warm 300ml of vegetable stock and season accordingly. Melt 100g of butter and fry one medium red, chopped onion with a head of finely chopped celery. When it starts turning brown, add 300g of risotto rice and stir. Turn up the heat and slowly add 500ml of Amarone di Valpolicella wine to the rice. Ladle the stock in but only at the pace at which it is being absorbed. Once all the fluid has been absorbed, stir in another 250ml of wine.

Top off with butter, parmesan and seasoning.

Blood Orange Sorbet

Squeeze 19 blood oranges and measure the amount of juice. Now add sugar in half that amount. Quarter and de-seed two lemons and one blood orange. Blend this with the sugar before adding the orange juice to the food processor. Churn the mixture in the ice-cream maker until you achieve a good consistency.

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