Today’s recipe is for kick-ass dairy-free (of course) cheesy pasta. It’s so good I could just live on it, truly. For me pasta is more of an occasional meal than a staple, as it’s processed carbs, even though buckwheat pasta is a great healthy pasta. I enjoyed it so so much, it tastes so cheesy and wonderful and gooey. The great thing is that it’s basically a reduced soup, so you get double bang for your buck, you can make the sauce as a soup and reduce it down the next day and have as a wonderful pasta sauce, or vice versa. I love this kind of versatile food.
To celebrate World Vegetarian Day (go on people of the world, you can do it!), I wanted to share with you both a recent event and a recipe I love. Since living in the country I feel very intensely for the farmed animals, both intense love and intense sadness. Too often people block the reality of what they are engaging in out (a human trait we are all guilty of in one way or another) and pretend to themselves that it is okay to be involved in animals suffering. It’s not. Ever. But lots of people I care for eat meat, and I understand how complex our relationship with food is and how easy it is not to face up to what we do habitually, and the ignorance we so easily embrace as humans. Reality is a tough thing to face, especially when we are enabled not to.
It’s not about judging yourself or others, it’s about needing to move on, collectively, to grow, to survive even. Past is past. What is it for but to learn from and move on? Let’s embrace a better future! The world is changing, people in their droves are coming to realise that farming animals is unsustainable environmentally, and just unnecessary cruel too, when we can live so healthily, happily and so well without.
GO FOR IT, BE PROGRESSIVE; IT’S THE FUTURE!
My story shares a good insight into the social life of a herd of cows, and what they are like, mostly unbeknownst to us. This gorgeous pair of calves live on a farm nearby and we came across them on a recent walk when sharing a path. The others walked past us on their way to a connecting field where the rest of the herd was already grazing, but these two darlings were too shy.
This calf was braver and walked on by, taking the high path.
The cow, she took the low path. The cows are pretty no bull**** (ha ha), she just got on with her business and let me get on with mine. They’re peaceful herbivores, and also so powerful, check out those horns. We could learn a lot from cows.
I loved observing and sharing a space with them, they’re such beautiful, intelligent, sensitive creatures, so gently inquisitive, and I felt I got some sense of what they were like, their characters unfolding, their energy.
A runner ran past, skittishly saying sorry to us and then sorry to the cow, which I thought was great!
And then we felt excitement building in the field, which is next to the local cricket ground, there was some intense mooing and activity as we watched, when suddenly this enormous cow, who had been working herself into a frenzy of excitement, kicked up her heels and bombed off down the field (sorry not a great photo, a true action shot; there’s her rump disappearing into the trees!), which was an event in itself. She was such a character (I have later realised that she is the herd matriarch boss-lady).
Then we saw what they were so excited about, a cricket pitch invasion! It was such an event, the cows were so excited, having so much fun.
By the time we we’re home and passed the gates which look onto the field we peeped through and there were about five young cows having the time of their life (with the others, who couldn’t fit through the gap in the fence, looking on). They weren’t bothered with the pitch (don’t worry, no cricket games were harmed in the making of this post…), mown grass is far too boring, but had a good wander around the area.
It was brilliant!
Now for the recipe! This pasta dish is also great for vegetable avoiders as they’re all in there but you’d never know. Tell them afterwards and prove to them that they really do love vegetables. Or for vegetable embracers serve with a side of garlic braised broccoli and peas, or whatever you fancy.
- 2 cups of buckwheat pasta
- Filtered water
- 1 parsnip
- 1/2 small sweet potato
- 1 small carrot
- 1 tbsp bouillon powder
- 1/4 can coconut milk
- 1 large pinch of salt, or to taste
- 1/4 can cannellini beans
- 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
- thyme (optional)
- 1 tbsp oil, I used mild coconut oil
Finely chop and saute the onion on a low heat with the lid on till soft and then add the rest of the ingredients, except the pasta, cover with water, bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for 20 mins or so, or until soft.
Cook your pasta for approx 10 mins, until soft with bite, and then rinse in cold water.
Blend the sauce, putting it back on the heat to reduce if needed. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Add thyme (also oregano works in this way), crumbled finely, if you want a chile-esque flavour; paired with the black pepper and lemon it gives it a real kick.
Combine the sauce and pasta and serve. Alternatively you could put it into earthenware individual serving pots, or one big pot, and grill, for a little crispiness on top, as it is or with vegan cheese such as this. I couldn't wait!
Serving sizes vary person to person, but it serves approx 2 large portions, and 4 small.
You could add nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness and B vitamins, it doesn't need it flavour-wise, it's beautifully cheesy, but why not!
I’ve been listening to… X-Ray Spex ‘Identity’
I’ve been watching… Shane Meadow’s This is England ’86
I’ve been reading… Benjamin Zephaniah ‘Tibetan Hallucinations with Welsh Bards’