Once a week I like to cook a meat free meal. This meal is usually cooked earlier in the week following a weekend of over indulging.
Wanting to try something a little more creative to the usual Thermomix pasta, last Monday I thought I would give Jamie Oliver's, Roasted fennel and pine nut polpette recipe which appears in the September 2015 issue of Delicious magazine a try.
To start with I chopped a fennel bulb and part of the stalk into 3cm pieces and placed them in a baking dish with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
After 30 minutes in the oven I added a tablespoon of pepitas and pine nuts to the dish and baked for a further ten minutes.
Once cooled I added some garlic and the roasted ingredients to the Thermomix and blitzed till chunky. I then added parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg yolk, salt and pepper and blitzed again till all ingredients had combined.
Using a tablespoon of mixture and rolling into balls I made 18 polpettes which I placed on a baking tray, drizzled with some oil and baked for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime I made the tomato sauce using garlic, parsley, a tin of crushed tomato's, water and balsamic vinegar. Once brought to the boil , I lowered the heat and allowed the sauce to simmer for ten minutes.
By this stage the polpettes were golden. Removing from the oven I allowed them to cool slightly.
While the polpettes cooled, as the recipe recommended I blitzed the tomato sauce in the Thermomix to smooth it out, before adding it back to the pan to warm.
Once the sauce had warmed up to my liking I added a few large spoons to a plate, placed some polpettes on top and topped with reserved parsley and fennel fronds.
The verdict - a creative, delicious meat free meal, which worked well with a serving of pasta.
Next time I will read the recipe more closely and omit the fennel stalks, which were a little too chewy for my liking!
- This meat free recipe by Jamie Oliver can be found in the September 2015 edition of Delicious magazine.