I’ve created this quick and easy vegetarian family supper to celebrate the release of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 on Blu-Ray and DVD on 17th February. I wish it would rain meatballs… it would make a very pleasant change to all this chuffing rain that is making us all so damp and miserable.
My boys will be glad this film is out as they loved the first one and have watched it many many times. Here’s the lowdown on the sequel:
Inventor Flint Lockwood though he had saved the world when he destroyed his most famous invention – a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now combining food and animals to create “foodimals!” Flint and his friends embark on a mouth-watering mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheesespiders and other foodimals to save the world – again!
So back to the grub.
This is a bowl of comfort for the kids to tuck into after school. I’ve packed plenty of vegetables into the sauce, tomatoes, peppers, onion and even a courgette – but naturally i’ve blitzed them in the blender to create a beautifully smooth sauce that the boys can’t complain about, which I then combine with a dash of creme fraiche to luxe things up a bit.
My secret weapon is a squeeze of honey and the zest of half a lemon to brighten and sweeten the sauce so it’s not too tangy which can often be the downfall of a home-made pasta sauce.
I use veggie meatballs a lot, and my current faves are the frozen Swedish Style ones from Quorn. They manage to retain a bit of moisture after cooking, so are pleasantly soft and tasty. The kids are pretty tolerant of the vegetarian food I send their way, but dry soya sausages and meatballs are a total no-no!
So shut out that rain, get yourself in the kitchen and serve up some steaming bowls of love.
Creamy tomato rigatoni with veggie meatballs
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
1 pepper, chopped
1 courgette, grated
1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
1 tbsp cherry tomato paste
1 tbsp clear honey
zest of half a lemon
1 packet vegetarian meatballs (quorn swedish style ones are great)
350g rigatoni pasta
2 tbsp creme fraiche
parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the chopped shallot with a generous pinch of sea salt and cook gently for 5 mins until soft.
2. Stir in the pepper and courgette, cooking for a further 5 mins. Stir in the tin of tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Swill the tin out with a little water and pour that in too. Add the honey and lemon zest, stir and allow to bubble gently on the hob for 10-15 mins.
3. While you’re waiting pre-heat the oven and cook the meatballs according to the packet instructions, as well as the pasta in a large pan of boiling water.
4. Drain the pasta and add to the tomato sauce along with some black pepper and the creme fraiche, giving it all a good stir. Spoon out into pasta bowls and top with meatballs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Disclosure: I have been paid to develop this recipe and to let you know about the release of this film on DVD
I’m entering this recipe into a new link-up challenge called Speedy Suppers, hosted alternately by Sarah at Dinner With Crayons and myself, to find meals ready in 30 minutes. If you’ve got some rapido recipes, come and share them with everyone!