Vegan Chorizo & Potato Tacos

Mexican chorizo, seasoned with spices like cumin, dried chillies and clove, is very different to what we in the UK know as chorizo (i.e. Spanish chorizo) which is predominantly flavoured with smoked paprika.  These tacos are inspired by the Mexican dish of chorizo & potato tacos – I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, crumbled up and pan fried until a bit crispy. This is then seasoned with a blend of spices to bring that Mexican chorizo flavour, whilst still being veggie.  The combo of the spicy, meaty chorizo with the crispy potatoes is an excellent match and is perfect wrapped up in a warmed tortilla with some lime and coriander. 

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two vegan chorizo potato tacos on a chopping board with corn tortillas, cilantro and limes

Mexican chorizo, seasoned with spices like cumin, dried chillies and clove, is very different to what we in the UK know as chorizo (i.e. Spanish chorizo) which is predominantly flavoured with smoked paprika. 

These tacos are inspired by the Mexican dish of chorizo & potato tacos – I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, crumbled up and pan fried until a bit crispy. This is then seasoned with a blend of spices to bring that Mexican chorizo flavour, whilst still being veggie. 

a pan of vegan chorizo potato mixture on a board with a taco, cilantro and lime

The combo of the spicy, meaty chorizo with the crispy potatoes is an excellent match and is perfect wrapped up in a warmed tortilla with some lime and coriander. 

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage Chorizo and Potato Tacos

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage Chorizo and Potato Tacos

Yield: serves 3-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A spiced vegetarian sausage and crispy potato taco

Ingredients

Chorizo Spice blend:

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 dried ancho chili (see notes for substitutes)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the tacos:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, defrosted
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp chorizo spice blend
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into ~3cm chunks
  • 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 small tortillas, warmed
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh coriander, finely chopped

Instructions

Make the spice blend first:

  1. Toast the cumin, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and chilli in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Blitz with the bay leaves until powdery (or grind with a pestle & mortar) and then mix with the remaining spices. Set aside.

Start on the taco filling:

  1. Place the diced potato into a medium pot and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook for around 6-8 minutes until tender but not too soft. Drain and let them sit in the sieve/colander for a few minutes to allow the potato cubes to dry out a bit. 
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, crumble in the defrosted Linda McCartney’s sausages and let cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and 1 tbsp of spice blend and stir through for 2 minutes. Transfer this sausage mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan. 
  3. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Add the cooked potato cubes and cook, stirring every now and then, until they become crisp all over. At this point, add the diced onion and stir through. Cook until the onion starts to become translucent (around 5 minutes) then add in the cooked sausage mixture. Stir together.
  4. Serve the sausage/potato mixture in warmed tortillas with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of coriander. 

Notes

  • *Ancho chili substitute: 2 tsp paprika + 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Make it Gluten-Free: serve with corn tortillas (ensure they're GF)

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Vegetarian Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Thanks to Linda McCartney’s for sponsoring this post The pairing of fennel-seedy Italian sausages and broccoli is always delicious. Here the broccoli is cooked until super soft which, along with garlic, lemon and cheese, allows it to act as a kind of impromptu ‘pesto’ for the pasta. I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, amped up with the addition of chilli flakes and fennel seed, instead of using an Italian sausage here to keep things vegetarian (or even vegan if you don’t use the cheese). This is a perfect weeknight dinner as it’s so quick to make and only requires one pot and one pan. 

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Thanks to Linda McCartney’s for sponsoring this post

The pairing of fennel-seedy Italian sausages and broccoli is always delicious. Here the broccoli is cooked until super soft which, along with garlic, lemon and cheese, allows it to act as a kind of impromptu ‘pesto’ for the pasta.

I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, amped up with the addition of chilli flakes and fennel seed, instead of using an Italian sausage here to keep things vegetarian (or even vegan if you don’t use the cheese). This is a perfect weeknight dinner as it’s so quick to make and only requires one pot and one pan. 

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Fennel Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Fennel Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Yield: serves 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 200g dried pasta
  • 150 to 200g broccoli or tenderstem broccoli
  • 3 Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, defrosted
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 20g ricotta or Parmesan style vegan cheese, finely grated
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Once hot, add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden (around 5 minutes). Add the fennel seed and chilli flakes, stir, and let them warm through for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add the pasta and broccoli to a medium pot of well-salted, boiling water. Leave to cook until the pasta is al dente (for me this was about 10 minutes). 
  3. Break up the defrosted Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages into small chunks and add to the frying pan along with 1 more tablespoon of oil. Mash with the back of your spoon to break the sausage up and fry it for around 5 minutes, stirring often, to allow the sausage to brown and crisp up a bit. 
  4. Clear a space in the frying pan and pour the remaining tablespoon of oil here. Add the garlic to this pool of oil and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until starting to turn golden. Once this happens, stir it through the Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage. Add a splash of pasta water to the frying pan and use your spoon to scrape up any golden bits from the base of the pan. 
  5. Once the pasta is al-dente and the broccoli is cooked, remove the broccoli from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon – it should be pretty soft at this point which will help it break down to form a bit of a sauce. Roughly chop the broccoli and add to the frying pan.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the frying pan too (or drain the pasta in a colander, reserving a mugful of pasta water, then add to the pan) and stir through, adding a splash of pasta water as needed to help make a saucy texture. Add the cheese and lemon juice, stir through and taste to check the seasoning. Add extra salt and some pepper as needed. Divide between 2 bowls and eat!

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Filo Tart with Broccoli & Ricotta

Filo tarts were a mainstay in my house at uni. Along with curry nights, filo pie was a favourite to cook together and share. I’m definitely more of a savoury tart/pie person (weirdly) and filo is a great pastry for dinner time since it’s so easy to work with. My favourite thing to do with it is rip up shreds of the pastry, crumple them up, and lay those over a bed of veg. The crumpling of the pastry increases the surface area so you get LOADS of crispy, crunchy bits – the besssst. This tart is a prettier version but still has the maximum crunch possible – I reserve a couple of pastry sheets to make crumples which I dot around the exposed edges. The outcome is a lovely springy tart, super quick to make (so weeknight friendly) with the crunchiest, sesame seeded edges. Yum. More spring time goodness:– Casarecce with snap peas, asparagus & ricotta– Roasted carrots with herby yoghurt dressing– Carrot Gnudi with walnut sauce Have you made this recipe? I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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A filo pastry tart with broccoli and feta, on a ricotta base by Izy Hossack

Filo tarts were a mainstay in my house at uni. Along with curry nights, filo pie was a favourite to cook together and share. I’m definitely more of a savoury tart/pie person (weirdly) and filo is a great pastry for dinner time since it’s so easy to work with.

My favourite thing to do with it is rip up shreds of the pastry, crumple them up, and lay those over a bed of veg. The crumpling of the pastry increases the surface area so you get LOADS of crispy, crunchy bits – the besssst.

A filo pastry tart with broccoli and feta, on a ricotta base by Izy Hossack

This tart is a prettier version but still has the maximum crunch possible – I reserve a couple of pastry sheets to make crumples which I dot around the exposed edges. The outcome is a lovely springy tart, super quick to make (so weeknight friendly) with the crunchiest, sesame seeded edges. Yum.

More spring time goodness:
Casarecce with snap peas, asparagus & ricotta
Roasted carrots with herby yoghurt dressing
Carrot Gnudi with walnut sauce

Filo Tart with Broccoli & Ricotta

Filo Tart with Broccoli & Ricotta

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • a (220g / 8 oz) packet filo pastry (phyllo pastry)
  • 250g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 2 heaped tbsp pesto (I used wild garlic pesto or basil pesto)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 5 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 medium egg
  • 350g (12.5 oz) tenderstem broccoli
  • 60g (2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan / 350°F).
  2. Take a 9 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet and brush it with a bit of the olive oil.
  3. Lay a sheet of filo onto the top half of the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Place a second sheet of filo over the bottom half of the baking sheet, there should be some overlap in the middle. Brush with more olive oil.
  4. Coninue with the layering until you have 2 sheets of pastry left. Rip them into random pieces about 3 inches wide and set aside.
  5. Mix the ricotta with the pesto, lemon zest and thyme in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg until smooth. Spread this over the pastry, leaving 1 inch slight border of pastry uncovered around the edge.
  6. Lay the broccoli over the ricotta in an even layer. Top with the crumbled feta and fold in the edges of the pastry.
  7. Take the random shredded pieces of filo and crumple them up, place around the border of the tart.
  8. Brush the whole tart with any remaining olive oil and sprinkle the edges with the sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned around the edges and the broccoli is starting to colour.
  10. Remove from the oven and cut into 8 pieces. Serve hot.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Crispy Rice Salad (Vegan)

This post was sponsored by Tropical Sun – thanks for supporting this blog! The zingy flavours in this salad make it perfect as a light side dish (or lunch) with some fresh Thai flavours. This recipe is inspired by a mixture between a dish called Nam Khao (Lao crispy rice salad) and a crispy rice salad served at the restaurant Sqirl. The recipe uses day-old rice as it is drier than the fresh stuff and thus fries up very well! When trying to make this with freshly cooked rice, I encountered some issues with spluttering oil due to the remaining water on the surface. I did find that drying out the rice in the oven for 15 minutes helped a lot with this so if you’re in a rush, that is always an option. I used the Tropical Sun USA easy cook rice here as I liked that the grains are slightly chubby. This produces a nice crispy, puffy texture once fried – ideal for this salad. The rest of the salad is quite simple, the remaining rice is fried with some ginger, spring onion and cabbage. Then a simple dressing based on lime juice is poured over everything and […]

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an overhead view of a bowl of crispy rice salad with lime wedges and thinly sliced red onion

This post was sponsored by Tropical Sun – thanks for supporting this blog!

The zingy flavours in this salad make it perfect as a light side dish (or lunch) with some fresh Thai flavours. This recipe is inspired by a mixture between a dish called Nam Khao (Lao crispy rice salad) and a crispy rice salad served at the restaurant Sqirl.

The recipe uses day-old rice as it is drier than the fresh stuff and thus fries up very well! When trying to make this with freshly cooked rice, I encountered some issues with spluttering oil due to the remaining water on the surface. I did find that drying out the rice in the oven for 15 minutes helped a lot with this so if you’re in a rush, that is always an option. I used the Tropical Sun USA easy cook rice here as I liked that the grains are slightly chubby. This produces a nice crispy, puffy texture once fried – ideal for this salad.

a bowl of vegan crispy rice salad with red onion, tropical sun rice and lime wedges

The rest of the salad is quite simple, the remaining rice is fried with some ginger, spring onion and cabbage. Then a simple dressing based on lime juice is poured over everything and tossed together. I add thinly sliced red onion on top (you can leave this out if you’re averse to raw onion) as well as a lot of fresh coriander & mint for that light, bright flavour. This one is best assembled when you want to eat it but you can prep everything ahead (the crispy rice will keep in an airtight container overnight at room temp).

Crispy Rice Salad (Vegan)

Crispy Rice Salad (Vegan)

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 200g (1 cup) Tropical Sun USA easy cook rice
  • Tropical sun vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 head cabbage (sweetheart, white or red)
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegan 'fish' sauce (or light sauce)(Can also use standard fish sauce, if not vegan/veggie)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tropical Sun agave syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Garnish:

  • Large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain to make sure there’s no water left. Spread the rice out on a baking tray and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Leave overnight (or for at least 1 hour) in the fridge to dry out.
  2. The next day, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to cover the base of it generously. Heat over a medium-high heat. Test the temperature by dropping a grain of rice into the oil, if it starts to bubble it is ready.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low then take a handful of rice and add it to the oil. Stand back as the oil will bubble up and may spit. Once the rice has reached a golden colour, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with some paper kitchen towel. Repeat this two more times so you have about 3 handfuls of crispy rice.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and decant most of the oil into a heatproof container, leaving some oil in the pan.
  5. Return the pan to the heat. Add the ginger and cook over a medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until softened slightly. Add the remaining cooled rice, the spring onions and grated carrot and stir together in the pan on the heat.
  6. In a jug, mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the rice and vegetables in the pan and stir to coat.
  7. Tip the contents of the pan out onto a serving dish. Top with the crispy rice, coriander, mint and red onion. Eat warm .

Notes

This recipe requires cooked and cooled rice. It's important that the rice is cooled as quickly as possible once cooked to reduce the possibility of getting food poisoning. This is why I recommend spread it out on a tray to increase the surface area so the rice can cool quickly.

If you’re finding that the oil is spitting excessively when frying, the rice is still too moist. You need to dry it out a bit more before frying. To do this, transfer the tray of rice to an oven heated to 100 C and let it toast for 10-15 minutes in there, stirring occasionally, until it feels dry.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Creamy Cauliflower, Mushroom & Kale Pasta Bake {vegan option}

This post was created in partnership with Barilla Pasta Creamy caulifower sauce coating wholemeal pasta, packed full of garlick, mushrooms & thyme, too! This is a perfect pasta bake for those cold, winter days. If you are as much of a pasta bake fan as I am, you’ll love this post. Every year I start to feel a bit blue once winter arrives. All that luscious summer produce is gone and with it, the sunlight has withered away. I’m stuck wondering why the heck we still have to put the clocks back and hour in the winter? It just means the meagre afternoon sunlight becomes even more fleeting. I miss fresh tomatoes, peaches and big bunches of fresh basil 🙁 The upside is the comfort food that always seems appropriate to cosy up with. Miso soup, pie and big bowls of porridge are all top favourites. Anything baked ticks two boxes because a) it’s probably going to involve hot carbs and b) If I close the kitchen door whilst I’m cooking, the whole room gets warmed up and I don’t need to wear a jumper for once! It won’t come as a surprise that pasta bake is a definite winter winner […]

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Creamy Cauli Mushroom and Kale Pasta Bake

This post was created in partnership with Barilla Pasta

Creamy caulifower sauce coating wholemeal pasta, packed full of garlick, mushrooms & thyme, too! This is a perfect pasta bake for those cold, winter days. If you are as much of a pasta bake fan as I am, you’ll love this post.

Every year I start to feel a bit blue once winter arrives. All that luscious summer produce is gone and with it, the sunlight has withered away. I’m stuck wondering why the heck we still have to put the clocks back and hour in the winter? It just means the meagre afternoon sunlight becomes even more fleeting. I miss fresh tomatoes, peaches and big bunches of fresh basil 🙁

Creamy Cauli Mushroom and Kale Pasta Bake

The upside is the comfort food that always seems appropriate to cosy up with. Miso soup, pie and big bowls of porridge are all top favourites. Anything baked ticks two boxes because a) it’s probably going to involve hot carbs and b) If I close the kitchen door whilst I’m cooking, the whole room gets warmed up and I don’t need to wear a jumper for once!

Creamy Cauli Mushroom and Kale Pasta Bake

It won’t come as a surprise that pasta bake is a definite winter winner for me. You can pack in loads of veggies so you feel relatively healthy – I even snuck cauliflower purée into the sauce because I’m all about that vegetable/fibre life plus it makes it even creamier! I used Barilla’s wholemeal penne pasta and I have to say, it’s my favourite wholemeal pasta I’ve ever tried as it still has a perfect texture (despite the bran) and a light, nutty flavour. As eating dairy-heavy foods can give me stomach cramps, I prefer this cheese-light sauce to something like classic mac and cheese. There’s just a sprinkling of parmesan on top which packs in the umami tang without needing half a block of Cheddar. Garlicky mushrooms and hella fresh thyme bring the flavour in and a scattering of breadcrumbs on top give it that irresistible crispy topping. It’s a perfect dish to shared with friends on a weeknight or Sunday evening when you’re in need of some proper, hearty food.

Creamy Cauliflower, Mushroom & Kale Pasta Bake {vegan option}

Creamy Cauliflower, Mushroom & Kale Pasta Bake {vegan option}

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower, , outer leaves removed, cut into medium florets
  • 1 small potato, (~100g), sliced 3mm thick
  • salt
  • 250 g wholemeal penne pasta, (I used Barilla)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200 ml semi-skimmed milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk, (see notes)
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • black pepper
  • 250 g chestnut mushrooms, , sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, , crushed or finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, , leaves picked & stems discarded
  • 100 g curly kale, , chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Topping:
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs, (see notes)
  • 30 g Parmesan cheese, , grated
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, , leaves picked & stems discarded
  • a drizzle of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower and potato. Bring back up to the boil over a high heat then turn the heat down to simmer – leave to cook for 8 minutes until the cauliflower and potato are soft. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower and potato from the water to a large jug or bowl – set aside for later and keep the pot of water on the stove.
  2. Add the pasta to the pot of water and bring back up to the boil (add more water to the pot if needed to cover the pasta). Once boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and leave the pasta to cook for 5 minutes until only just barely cooked on the outside with an uncooked centre. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water in a colander. Set aside in the colander for later. Return the pot to the stove.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pot along with the flour. Stir over a medium heat until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Combine the milk and stock together in a jug – gradually mix this liquid into the flour-oil paste in the pot, stirring in between additions until smooth. Once all the liquid has been added, bring the mixture to a simmer over a medium-low heat and let it cook for 2 minutes – it won’t be very thick right now but don’t worry!
  4. Pour the hot contents of the pot and the tablespoon of mustard into the jug/bowl containing the cauliflower and potato. Blend using a hand blender until completely smooth and thick. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set the sauce aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  6. In a medium frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and let them cook, stirring occasionally until they’ve shrunk down and are releasing liquid (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt to the frying pan, turn the heat down to low and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale to the frying pan and cover with a lid or large plate. Leave to steam for 5-7 minutes until the kale has wilted down. Remove the lid and take off the heat.
  7. In a medium casserole dish or roasting tin, mix the pasta, mushrooms, kale and sauce. Mix the topping ingredients (except the olive oil) in a small bowl and sprinkle over the pasta. Drizzle with some olive oil, slide the dish into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the topping is slightly browned. Divide between bowls and serve hot.

Notes

- To make this vegan: omit the parmesan from the topping and just season with some flaky salt and nutritional yeast instead. Use unsweetened, non-dairy milk in the sauce.

- To make breadcrumbs: take one slice of bread and rub it on the coarse side of a grated to shred it into coarse breadcrumbs.

3.5.3217

3.5.3217

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Pici Cacio e Pepe

After having the Pici Cacio e Pepe at Padella (a pasta restaurant in Borough Market, London), I became kind of obsessed with it. It was like nothing else I’d had before with wobbly, worm-like noodles and a rich yet light sauce packed with a salty, tangy punch. Black pepper wasn’t something I’d ever had as a main seasoning in a dish but it worked so well here. My brother and I discovered that there was a video on Jamie Oliver’s youtube channel of Tim Siadatan, the head chef of Padella, making said cacio e pepe. He only gives actual quantities for the pasta dough part and has the sauce ingredients in rough quantities. We made it like this, following his directions, and it worked so wonderfully. Since then, I’d made the dish quite a few times but since I was never measuring ingredients, the results were varied! I decided to finally measure everything out as I went and tested it a couple of times with my proper written recipe so I could type it up for here. Traditional cacio e pepe uses Pecorino cheese (and no lemon! and also I think no butter?) in the sauce. I use Parmesan cheese […]

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Pici cacio e pepe from padella recipe at home

After having the Pici Cacio e Pepe at Padella (a pasta restaurant in Borough Market, London), I became kind of obsessed with it. It was like nothing else I’d had before with wobbly, worm-like noodles and a rich yet light sauce packed with a salty, tangy punch. Black pepper wasn’t something I’d ever had as a main seasoning in a dish but it worked so well here.

nests of pici dough on a tray with ingredients for cacio e pepe

My brother and I discovered that there was a video on Jamie Oliver’s youtube channel of Tim Siadatan, the head chef of Padella, making said cacio e pepe. He only gives actual quantities for the pasta dough part and has the sauce ingredients in rough quantities. We made it like this, following his directions, and it worked so wonderfully. Since then, I’d made the dish quite a few times but since I was never measuring ingredients, the results were varied! I decided to finally measure everything out as I went and tested it a couple of times with my proper written recipe so I could type it up for here.

Traditional cacio e pepe uses Pecorino cheese (and no lemon! and also I think no butter?) in the sauce. I use Parmesan cheese because (1) Pecorino isn’t readily available/ I always have Parmesan in the fridge (2) I prefer the flavour of Parmesan as I find Pecorino too salty/sheep-y (3) At Padella they use Parmesan in the sauce and that is what this recipe is based off of. PLEASE do not come at me telling me this isn’t traditional – I know it’s not!! But it’s still delicious! 😉

stretching pici dough into rectangle for cacio e pepe
cutting pici dough into strips for cacio e pepe
cutting pici dough into strips for cacio e pepe
rolling strips of pici dough into worms for cacio e pepe

This is my idea of the ultimate dinner date meal. It’s kinda fancy and needs a little more attention than your average dried pasta dish BUT you don’t need a pasta machine and it’s made with ingredients you probably already have in the fridge. It feels indulgent and restaurant-y yet rustic. I have found that it’s kind of tough to make for a crowd, with 2 servings being the ideal amount so, again, it’s perfect for date night (or Valentine’s day!).

pici cacio e pepe in two bowls with a glass of wine

I made a video of the process when I was in Mallorca last summer (which you can watch below!) and have also done a little .GIF of the pici rolling process so you can easily see how to make them. A quick note that the dough does need to be rested in the fridge so that the gluten can relax, allowing you to roll out the dough more easily. I rest it for 1 hour usually but you can rest it for up to 24 hours. Also, make sure you have all your saucy ingredients at the ready before you start boiling the pasta as it all happens v fast and you need to give it your undivided attention as you bring it all together at the end.

Hope you enjoy this one and that it becomes part of your recipe repertoire to cook again and again!

Pici Cacio e Pepe

Pici Cacio e Pepe

Yield: serves 2
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Pici dough:

  • 200g (1 2/3 cup) strong white (bread) flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (15g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 90g warm water
  • plain white flour or semolina, for dusting

Cacio e pepe sauce:

  • 60g (1 cup) finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 40g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) pasta water

Instructions

For the pici dough:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil and water and mix to form a shaggy dough. Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a clean work surface and knead for 6 to 10 minutes until smooth and soft but not sticky or dry.
  2. Place into a resealable sandwich bag and chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).


When you're ready to cook, shape the pici:

  1. Once the dough has rested, remove from the bag and place onto a completely clean, dry work surface. It's super important that there is no flour on the work surface or else it will be really hard to roll out the pici!
  2. Pat the dough out into a rectangle about 12 x 20 cm (5 x 8 inches). Use a bench scraper or a butter knife to cut strips of dough which are roughly 6mm (~1/4-inch) wide x 12cm long.
  3. Use your hands, pressing lightly on a strip of dough to roll out into a long worm shape. I like to start with both my hands at the centre of the strip and work outwards whilst rolling back and forth and applying light pressure. Roll until the worm is about 3 to 4mm (~1/8-inch) thick.
  4. Dust a rimmed baking tray with semolina or a light coating of plain white flour. Pick up the dough worm and place onto the sheet.
  5. Ensure there is no flour/semolina residue on your hands and continue to roll out the remaining strips of dough, placing the worms on the baking sheet.
  6. Once your tray has been filled with worms of dough, dust these with some more semolina/plain flour and then gently gather them, lift them up and wrap them around the fingertips of one hand, forming a little bundle. Place this bundle onto the tray.
  7. Continue making worms (and forming nests, as needed) until you've shaped all the dough.
  8. Set aside for up to 20 minutes. If you let these sit for longer you risk them drying out and starting to clump together.

Bring it all together:

  1. Grate your Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and set that aside. Bash the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar (or use a pepper grinder to grind them up) and set those aside too. Have all your other ingredients measured and to hand (except the pasta water as that isn't ready yet).
  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil on the stove.
  3. Grab a large frying pan and add the lemon juice, butter and black pepper. Place over a medium heat on the stove.
  4. Gently drop the pici nests into the boiling pot of water - keep the heat here on max until the water comes back to a simmer and set a timer for 5 minutes. Stir gently occasionally to make sure they don't stick together.
  5. Once the pici have been cooking for about 3 minutes, scoop out 160ml (2/3 cup) of that starchy pasta water from the pot they're cooking in. Pour this into the frying pan of butter and turn the heat on the pan down to medium low.
  6. Once the 5 minutes of cooking time is up, use tongs to lift the pici into the frying pan of the pasta water-butter mixture. Sprinkle the grated cheese in an even layer over all of the pasta in the pan. Now this is the key moment - you can't stir this yet!! You have to leave this to cook over a medium-low heat for a couple of minutes. You want the cheese to start melting before you stir it together otherwise it will clump. So, leave it to cook and you'll notice that the cheese starts to melt at the edges first and gradually melts more and more towards the centre of the pan. Once the cheese in the centre is just starting to turn translucent/melty, you can toss the mixture together (I like to use tongs for this).
  7. Let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally, to let the sauce thicken up a bit.
  8. Once the sauce looks thickened but still kind of runny, remove from the heat and divide between two bowls. Serve ASAP! Enjoy!


Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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30-Minute Plant-Based Recipes Ebook

This 30-recipe ebook features all plant-based (i.e. vegan) recipes, from Lunch and Dinner through to Snacks and Bakes. Each recipe only takes 30 minutes (or less) from start to finish, to make your weeknight cooking less daunting! Delivered straight to your inbox as a downloadable PDF, with images for every recipe. It’s going to be 60% off until February so get it now to take advantage of the discount. Overview of the contents Only £1.99 for all of January 2020 (going up to £4.99 thereafter) All the recipes are given in grams and cups (or ounces where appropriate) with degrees C/F as well. Thirty vegan recipes which you can make in 30 minutes or less. All the recipes will serve from 1 to 4 people, making them perfect for weeknight cooking and smaller batches Easily accessible ingredients An image to accompany each recipe Top tips for speedy cooking PDF format with over 70 pages Lunch – 9 savoury recipes which are perfect for leftovers (so great for lunchboxes) or lighter dinners. Recipes include a carrot, coconut & lemongrass soup, salt & pepper tofu noodles and kale, pecan, pear & cranberry salad. Dinner – 10 savoury recipes which are hearty and warming. Recipes include butternut squash spaghetti with crispy sage, hoisin pulled […]

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This 30-recipe ebook features all plant-based (i.e. vegan) recipes, from Lunch and Dinner through to Snacks and Bakes. Each recipe only takes 30 minutes (or less) from start to finish, to make your weeknight cooking less daunting!

Delivered straight to your inbox as a downloadable PDF, with images for every recipe. It’s going to be 60% off until February so get it now to take advantage of the discount.

Overview of the contents

  • Only £1.99 for all of January 2020 (going up to £4.99 thereafter)
  • All the recipes are given in grams and cups (or ounces where appropriate) with degrees C/F as well.
  • Thirty vegan recipes which you can make in 30 minutes or less.
  • All the recipes will serve from 1 to 4 people, making them perfect for weeknight cooking and smaller batches
  • Easily accessible ingredients
  • An image to accompany each recipe
  • Top tips for speedy cooking
  • PDF format with over 70 pages

  • Lunch – 9 savoury recipes which are perfect for leftovers (so great for lunchboxes) or lighter dinners.
    • Recipes include a carrot, coconut & lemongrass soup, salt & pepper tofu noodles and kale, pecan, pear & cranberry salad.
  • Dinner – 10 savoury recipes which are hearty and warming.
    • Recipes include butternut squash spaghetti with crispy sage, hoisin pulled mushroom pancakes and frying pan lasagne.
  • Snacks + Bakes – 11 sweet & savoury recipes for dessert, snacks and bridging the gap between meals.
    • Recipes include mini chocolate chip cookies, a brownie for one and, a crowd-favourite, ‘chorizo’ dip.

Supporting The Trussell Trust Charity

From every sale, 99p will go to The Trussell Trust, a charity dedicated to ending hunger in the UK. They have a network of food banks to help those facing poverty.

Thanks for all your support! I hope you enjoy the recipes and that they brighten up your Winter cooking a bit. Tag me on instagram (@izyhossack) if you make anything so I can see your pics & re-share 🙂 

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Butternut Squash & Caramelised Shallot Tart

Every year I try to come up with some plant-based alternatives to Turkey. Most of the time I’m drawn to winter squash for their versatility and beauty. This year for my veggie Christmas main (which was also for Thanksgiving), I made a savoury butternut squash tart in a walnut-oat crust. I topped it off with balsamic-caramelised shallots and some baby kale. It was an utter delight!! The filling is slightly creamy and sweet and you get the savoury flavour from the crust and shallots. It pairs VERY well with a bit of gravy (I make mine with veg stock, brown onions, lots of marmite and MSG) which I think is a *must* when it comes to a Holiday main. I use chickpea flour with water to set the filling but, if you’re not vegan/making it for vegans, an egg can be used instead. If you’re not feeling up for making a tart crust (understandable when theres 10000 other things to make for Christmas lunch), you can always buy chilled shortcrust pastry from the supermarket and use that instead as it’s usually vegan-friendly. Serving size/serving more people This recipe makes one smallish tart, enough for 4 people as a main with […]

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Overhead image of sliced squash tart with shallots and kale

Every year I try to come up with some plant-based alternatives to Turkey. Most of the time I’m drawn to winter squash for their versatility and beauty. This year for my veggie Christmas main (which was also for Thanksgiving), I made a savoury butternut squash tart in a walnut-oat crust. I topped it off with balsamic-caramelised shallots and some baby kale. It was an utter delight!!

A squash tart with bowls of caramelised shallots and baby kale

The filling is slightly creamy and sweet and you get the savoury flavour from the crust and shallots. It pairs VERY well with a bit of gravy (I make mine with veg stock, brown onions, lots of marmite and MSG) which I think is a *must* when it comes to a Holiday main. I use chickpea flour with water to set the filling but, if you’re not vegan/making it for vegans, an egg can be used instead.

If you’re not feeling up for making a tart crust (understandable when theres 10000 other things to make for Christmas lunch), you can always buy chilled shortcrust pastry from the supermarket and use that instead as it’s usually vegan-friendly.

Serving size/serving more people

This recipe makes one smallish tart, enough for 4 people as a main with sides. You could even cut it into 8 pieces to have as a starter! If you’re cooking for more people, the recipe doubles very well and can be made as one large tart in a 28cm (11-inch) loose-based tart tin.

A sliced savoury squash tart with caramelised shallots with a slice removed on a side plate

To make ahead of time

To make this ahead of time you can prep the tart crust, filling and shallots the day before serving and leave them all separate. You can keep the crust out at room temperature but chill the filling & shallots. About 30 minutes before you’re about to serve, stir the filling up (as it may have thickened), spread it into the crust, and bake the tart as instructed in the recipe. Finally, warm up the shallots in their pan on the stove or in the oven (covered with a lid, for around 5 minutes) and top the tart with the warm shallots & a handful of leaves.

Butternut Squash & Caramelised Shallot Tart

Butternut Squash & Caramelised Shallot Tart

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Tart filling:

  • 500g (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large or 5 small garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp chilli crisp (optional)*
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • Salt, to taste

Tart crust:

  • 60g (1/2 cup) walnuts
  • 45g (1/2 cup) rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 120g (1 cup) plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp non-dairy milk or water

Shallots:

  • 200g (7 ounces) shallots, halved, peeled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • handful of salad leaves, to serve (optional)

Instructions

Cook the squash:

  1. Cut the butternut squash into roughly 2 inch (5cm) chunks. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (I use a dutch oven here) on the stove over a medium heat. Once hot, add the squash and a pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until the chunks and soft and starting to break down (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.


Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F).
  2. Place the walnuts and oats in a food processor and blitz until you get a scruffy mealy texture. Add the baking powder, salt, fennel seeds and flour to the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the non-dairy milk and pulse together until you get a cohesive dough. You may need to add more milk to get it to come together.
  3. Crumble the dough into the base of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform cake tin (or a loose-based tart tin) and use your fingertips to press it down into an even layer over the base and up the sides of the tin (in a springform tin it should come up about 3cm high). Reserve a little bit of the dough for patching up cracks later on. Prick the crust all over with a fork.
  4. Place the cake tin/tart tin on a baking sheet and then into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until it looks dry. Remove from the oven and use the reserved pastry to patch up any cracks that may have formed. Set the crust aside.

Make the filling:

  1. Blend the cooked squash until smooth - you can either do this straight in the pot using an immersion blender (hand blender/stick blender) or by transferring it to a food processor/blender and blitzing, then transferring to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining filling ingredients and stir together. Taste and season with salt as needed.
  3. Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top looks set and dry.

Cook the shallots:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, oven-proof frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Sprinkle over the sugar in an even layer and then lay the shallots cut side-down over the sugar.
  2. Lower the heat to medium-low and leave to cook until you get a nice brown crust underneath (about 5 minutes). Flip each half over and allow to cook until the other side is browned (about 5 minutes again).
  3. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and then pour in the balsamic vinegar. Cover with a lid or a piece of foil and transfer to the oven - roast for 15-20 minutes until the shallots are soft all the way through. Remove from the oven and uncover.

Finish the tart:

  1. Top the cooked tart with some leafy greens (I used baby kale) and the caramelised shallots. Serve warm.

Notes

  • *I use the Lao Gan Ma 'crispy chilli in oil' which is BANGING!! Get yourself some from your local East Asian food shop, or online.
  • If you're not vegan, you can use 1 egg instead of the 3 tbsp chickpea flour + 3 tbsp water in the filling.
  • Tart crust adapted from Amy Chaplin
  • This recipe makes one smallish tart, enough for 4 people as a main with sides. You could even cut it into 8 pieces to have as a starter though. If you're cooking for more people, the recipe doubles very well and can be made as one large tart in a 28cm (11-inch) loose-based tart tin.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Smoky Olives

Come Christmas or Thanksgiving, these crisp, golden Brussels sprouts will always be a favourite. My mum used to make sauteed brussels sprouts with chestnuts, juniper and bacon when I was growing up. The pairing of sprouts and chestnuts is so classic and for good reason – the sweet, creamy chestnuts match perfectly with the earthy sprouts. I pan roast my sprouts here so they get golden and caramelised but still have bite to them (NO soggy sprouts allowed!!!). Instead of bacon, I opted for a salty olive to offset the sweetness, cooked in a smoky, spicy chipotle paste for that almost meaty flavour. I do love a Nocellara olive for their sweet, buttery flavour but you can also use a more bitter, black olive (like I’ve done here with Moroccan dried olives) or even capers if that’s your jam.

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Close up of pan roasted Brussels Sprouts with chestnuts and smoky olives

Come Christmas or Thanksgiving, these crisp, golden Brussels sprouts will always be a favourite.

My mum used to make sauteed brussels sprouts with chestnuts, juniper and bacon when I was growing up. The pairing of sprouts and chestnuts is so classic and for good reason – the sweet, creamy chestnuts match perfectly with the earthy sprouts.

A bowl of roasted Brussels Sprouts with chestnuts and smoky olives on a table

I pan roast my sprouts here so they get golden and caramelised but still have bite to them (NO soggy sprouts allowed!!!). Instead of bacon, I opted for a salty olive to offset the sweetness, cooked in a smoky, spicy chipotle paste for that almost meaty flavour. I do love a Nocellara olive for their sweet, buttery flavour but you can also use a more bitter, black olive (like I’ve done here with Moroccan dried olives) or even capers if that’s your jam.

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Smoky Olives

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Smoky Olives

Yield: serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g (1lb 2 ounces) Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp refined olive oil
  • salt
  • 100g (heaped 1/2 cup) cooked, peeled chestnuts
  • 50g (heaped 1/4 cup) your favourite olives, pits removed, roughly torn (see notes)
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste (I use Gran Luchito) (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Trim the bases off the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Remove any gross outer leaves.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan (I like to use cast iron here) over a medium-low heat. Add the Brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut side down - you'll probably need to do cook them in two batches. Let them sit, undisturbed, until golden underneath (about 5 minutes). Flip and let cook until tender (roughly a further 5 minutes). If they still seem too crisp, cover with a lid and let cook on low for another 1-2 minutes to soften. Tip into the serving dish.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining olive oil and cook the rest of the sprouts, as before adding them to the serving dish too.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and add the cooked chestnuts. Cook on high for a minute or so just to warm through, then scatter over the sprouts in the serving dish.
  5. Return the pan to the heat. Add the torn olives and the chipotle paste and cook, stirring constantly, until coated and hot. Scatter over the sprouts in the serving dish and serve.

Notes

- For the olives, I really like Nocellara olives as they are juicy, sweet & buttery. If you prefer something deeper, try using 'dried' olives - they usually come in a jar without brine/oil and look slightly wrinkled. They have a more bitter flavour and chewier texture to them.

- An alternative to the chilli paste is 1 tsp smoked paprika.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Simple Garlicky Vegan Sourdough Stuffing

Stuffing is always a popular Thanksgiving side dish, isn’t it? Basically just crispy pieces of bread intertwined with chunks of delicious veg. Almost like a warm panzanella! This vegan version is just as good – I cook down leeks and garlic until soft and sweet to fold into the crusty sourdough chunks. Then the whole thing is covered with herby broth and dotted with salty soy-coated mushrooms for those who you know might miss the meat! Other than that it’s a simple affair as that helps it pair really well with all the other side dishes you have at a roast (and definitely goes well with gravy!). The most extravagant part really is the decent amount of garlic I add whiiiich basically makes it into a big ol tray of garlic bread. Other vegan Thanksgiving recipes Vegan Pecan Pie Vegan Cauliflower Cheese Gratin Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Smoky Olives Hassleback Squash with Garlic-Sage Butter

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A close up of a dish of vegan sourdough stuffing with leeks and soy-sauce mushrooms

Stuffing is always a popular Thanksgiving side dish, isn’t it? Basically just crispy pieces of bread intertwined with chunks of delicious veg. Almost like a warm panzanella!

A dish of sourdough vegan stuffing on a table

This vegan version is just as good – I cook down leeks and garlic until soft and sweet to fold into the crusty sourdough chunks. Then the whole thing is covered with herby broth and dotted with salty soy-coated mushrooms for those who you know might miss the meat! Other than that it’s a simple affair as that helps it pair really well with all the other side dishes you have at a roast (and definitely goes well with gravy!). The most extravagant part really is the decent amount of garlic I add whiiiich basically makes it into a big ol tray of garlic bread.

Other vegan Thanksgiving recipes

Simple Vegan Garlicky Sourdough Stuffing

Simple Vegan Garlicky Sourdough Stuffing

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided (plus extra for greasing + drizzling)
  • 1 large leek, cleaned, sliced into 1 cm (1/2 inch) coins
  • 5 large (or 7-10 medium/small) cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 200g (7 ounces) shiitake or chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari
  • 250ml (1 cup) hot vegetable stock/broth
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 7 cups (300g) sourdough bread, cut into 3cm (1 inch) cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and grease a medium roasting dish (around 1.5 litre capacity) with a bit of extra olive oil.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the coins of sliced leek and season with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat with oil and turn the heat to low. Leave to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute. Tip the cooked leeks and garlic into a large bowl.
  3. Place the frying pan back on the heat and add the mushrooms to the pan with a pinch of salt. Allow to cook, stirring often, until most of the water has been drawn out and evaporated from the mushrooms. Once you see them start to brown, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the white pepper and soy sauce and let cook until reduced and dry. Set aside to cool.
  4. To the bowl of leeks add the vegetable broth, rosemary, thyme and bread cubes. Stir to allow the bread to soak up the liquid. Tip into the prepared roasting dish. Dot with spoonfuls of the soy sauce mushrooms. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the top is crisp and starting to brown. Serve hot.

Notes

To make ahead:

Prepare up until just before you bake it. Cover the dish (I just use a baking sheet to cover it) and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Uncover and bake straight from the fridge, no need to bring to room temperature.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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