Vegan penne giardiniera 

When I was a vegetarian, one of my favourite meals when eating out was penne giardiniera from Carluccio’s restaurant. A pasta dish with crispy spinach balls, courgette, chilli and ALOT of garlic. However, there’s a hefty amount of cheese in the dish served at Carluccio’s so unfortunately it’s been a no go since I have been vegan. Today I’ve given making a vegan version without cheese a go and I am pretty happy with the result!


For the spinach balls:

  • Spinach
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Olive oil

For the pasta:

  • Penne pasta
  • Courgette (1 per person)
  • 1 red chilli
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic

Firstly, cook spinach leaves in boiling water for two minutes. Remove the leaves and roughly chop them. In a bowl combine the spinach leaves with about half the amount of bread crumbs, half a clove of crushed garlic and half a tablespoon of olive oil. Form balls out of this mixture and fry them in a hot pan with olive oil until they crisp up and then set them aside on some kitchen role to absorb excess oil.

Then cook the penne as stated on the packet, this should take about 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a frying pan with a little olive oil over a medium heat cook the garlic, chilli and grated courgette, this should take about 10 minutes too.

Toss the pasta with the courgette and serve with the spinach balls on top. Enjoy!

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