THIS DISH IS reminiscent of one I used to whip up years ago, but it’s been adapted to be vegan – when you can’t pour on parmesan cheese, you just have to get a little inventive.
Like most of my bachelor friendly recipes, it uses only a few ingredients and doesn’t take long to prepare. There are a few strong flavours mixed into it but they complement each other really well – the saltiness of the olives is nicely offset by the creaminess of the spinach, while the parmesan isn’t missed at all because of the intensity of the herb spread.
I tried something similar last week and made the mistake of adding canned tomatoes; and I’ve tried adding onions and other ingredients but except for capers on occasion, it’s so much better as below.
Ingredients (for two people):
375 grams pasta (I use spaghetti for this because the thin pasta coats easily)
Half a cup of sliced de-pitted kalamata olives
Two cups of sliced mushrooms (portobello are best)
Two cups of spinach
One big clove of garlic – finely chopped (or a couple of smaller ones)
Good olive oil
Good soy sauce
Salt and black pepper
Waiheke Island Herb Spread
In a big frying pan, sauté the garlic pieces in a dash of olive oil over medium-hot heat for 30 seconds.
Then throw in the mushrooms and olives and sauté till they’re just softening, stirring frequently.
While this is happening, boil the pasta till it’s al dente.
Add in the roughly torn spinach leaves and stir through till they’re mixed right in. Let it cook till the spinach is wilted (2-3 minutes).
Add in the pasta and stir through till it’s thoroughly coated.
Throw in a dash of olive oil and a small dash of the soy sauce, along with a bit of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
Once it’s on the plates, put a tablespoon or so of the herb spread on top and mix in just before serving. ASHLEY KRAMER