Green Eggs and Ham

“How dare I tamper

  with a recipe that

  literally breaks every

  Masterchef contender

  and elevates all

  Italian nonnas

  to culinary sainthood?”

 

This recipe is one of my weekday staples for one major reason –  it takes only 5 minutes which coincidentally happens to be what you need to poach your eggs and fry your bacon!

The trick is to par cook your rice in a reduced amount of water so that the center still has some bite. But if you just cook that further in the pan with stock until it becomes creamy, you’ll end up with congee, because the additional liquid means that the rice will eventually absorb more water and lose its perfectly cooked center. To fix this, we want to keep the amount of time the rice spends in the pan as short as possible.

But how do we get the stock to become creamy and “one” with the rice without the 20 minutes of stirring? Oldest trick in the book – corn starch. While I’m usually not a proponent for thickening agents in sauces (I prefer to either go through the pains of reducing it, or I’ll add some sort of ingredient that is meaningful in more ways than just to add body to the sauce), starch is a perfect fit in this case because the creaminess of a risotto comes from the starches released from the rice through relentless stirring anyway.

So there you have it – a risotto that’s essentially been segmented into

a) perfectly cooking the rice, and

b) adding liquid and adjusting the consistency

And how dare I tamper with a recipe that literally breaks every Masterchef contender and elevates all the Italian nonnas to sainthood? I’m a fourth-year UW student who can’t find it in her to shovel out 20 minutes to make dinner after a long day of class, that’s how. So if you want to go all traditionalist/purist/conservative on me, be my guest, just know that I am hangrily jealous of all that time you have on your wooden-spoon-holding, risotto-stirring hands.

Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.

-Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham

Kale and Arugula Risotto with Poached Eggs and Bacon

Arugula and Kale Risotto with Poached Eggs and Bacon

Serves 2 to 4

Herb Puree

  • 2 c lightly packed baby arugula
  • 2 c lightly packed baby kale
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. To make the greens puree, bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil and add the baking soda. The alkaline baking soda will help intensify the green colour of the herbs.
  2. Blanch the greens for 10-15 seconds, or until wilted.
  3. Fish out the greens with a slotted spoon and plunge into an ice-bath immediately and stir until completely cold.
  4. Drain the greens and transfer to a blender to puree until smooth. Add a splash of water to help the blades grab onto the greens if necessary, and be careful not to blend for too long – the heat caused by the friction from the blades will dull the bright green colour.
  5. Push the puree through a fine sieve and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days until needed.

Note: the water will separate out into a layer on top of the puree after a day in the fridge – I actually prefer to let the puree settle slowly in the fridge for that reason. When I use it, I can just pour out the clear liquid, and I’m left with an ultra-concentrated shot of chlorophyll.

Risotto

  • 1 1/2 c al dente cooked short-grain white rice, chilled**
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 c vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 batch herb puree (above)
  • Extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil, to drizzle
  • Poached eggs and fried thick-sliced bacon, to serve
  1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the oil and garlic gently on medium heat until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  2. Add the cold rice and stir to coat each grain in the oil.
  3. Add the stock, stir, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, meanwhile in a small bowl mix together the corn starch with 2 tbsp of cold water until smooth.
  4. Add the corn starch water and salt to the rice and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the herb puree.
  5. Spoon into small bowls, top with a poached egg and a slice of bacon, then finish with a few drops of good olive oil.
  6. Serve immediately!

**to par-cook rice, reduce the amount of water by 25% to 33% depending on how much bite you like in your risotto. For example, 1 cup of rinsed uncooked rice should be cooked with 2/3 to 3/4 cups of water in the rice cooker (with additional water in the outer pot). If you don’t have a rice cooker, reduce the amount of water in your usual stove top recipe by the same amount. Once cooked and completely chilled, you can store the rice in the fridge for up to a week and turn it into risotto in under 10 minutes on any week night (or morning)! You’re welcome.

 

A Venti Pumpkin Spice Lamentation

Just as Coca Cola was vastly successful in inventing and selling the modern-day Santa Claus with his post-industrialization coal-burning factory destroying the ozone layer in the north pole and fleet of underpaid (if at all paid) proletarielves, so the emerald double-tailed Ariel was able to bewitch North America with the PSL spell.

Pumpkin Spice Latte – the name itself was designed to be a favourite in North America where fall not only steals the show as the continent’s most beloved season, but also simultaneously exists in pie form as a sweet, warmly spiced squash custard sitting on a flaky pate brisee. This I blame for my detestable naivety, some five years ago, in ordering my first (and last) pumpkin spice latte.

Was it such a transgression that as I uttered the words “pumpkin spice latte” from my mouth that my mind was frolicking in a land of red velvet foliage precipitating in ultra-slow motion in all directions and that my taste buds were fantasizing in some blessed realm where a hot mess of liquified pumpkin pies were a thing just as the hot mess of liquified chocolate is a thing?

Of course, it having been the year 2000, there was not an ounce of pumpkin in all the 16 ounces of the grande cup on which was scribbled my name, with the unnecessary “e” grafted onto the end. So, pumpkin spice latte might have been re-named as simply, and more accurately, spice latte. But that wouldn’t do either, because hard as I tried to find the autumnal threesome in the concoction, no cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger was even obscurely pronounced. In this verdict I found absolutely no joy, no satisfaction. Pumpkin Spice Latte, such a brilliant name – nearly a brand of its own – had been thoroughly betrayed.

But like most things we love to hate, we hate it because there is some part of it that is just sufficiently lovable that it lingers on our minds, and yet forever refuses to address its insupportable flaws to make us truly love it. We wait around for it to change its ways, and each additional chance we give it does nul but reaffirms our perception of its imperfections. We blame ourselves for finding fault in what we hope to be great, and are bitter towards the incompetence of one in possession of such immeasurable potential.

This is the ruin of the promising pumpkin spice latte. Should its name had been mediocre, it, along with its shortcomings would have been forgotten and thus unimportant, and in every sense unhated. Woe is that its name is a pure stroke of genius, but is itself too bland, that it’s quick to find affection, and even quicker to lose it.

For everything created

by God is good,

and nothing is to be

rejected

if it is received with thanksgiving.

1 Timothy 4:4

Yeasted Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
Yeasted Pumpkin Spice “Latte” Cake

I started eating coffee cake long before I had my first coffee (I might secretly be a coffee cake snob, but nobody has to know). A proper coffee cake has many things, is many things, and is many things not. It has unapologetic altitude, huge flavour, and a relentless greed for streusel. It is moist, hearty, and a little bit chewy. It is not refined, super-sweet, nor begging for attention. You can ignore it and leave it on the counter, and that should make it so comfortable that it becomes even more delicious. One last note, yes, the recipe calls for 1 tbsp of cinnamon – if you’re up for the challenge.

Ingredients for the Coffee Cake Starter:

Note: this stuff keeps forever in the fridge, and becomes better the older it gets, so double/triple up on the recipe to use when needed

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Stir together all ingredients. Cover and leave in the fridge for a week or at room temperature for 3 days before using.

Ingredients for the Streusel:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, softened and cubed
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor in the order listed. Start with short pulses, then finish with a few long pulses until the mixture appears like moist sand and some parts begin to clump together. Set aside until needed.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake:

  • 1 recipe coffee cake starter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 c light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 c strong hot coffee
  • 1 recipe streusel
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Line the bottom of two deep, 6-inch spring-form pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the starter, eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add half of the dry mixture to the yeast mixture and stir just to combine.
  5. Stir in the cream, then follow with the remaining dry mixture.
  6. Add the coffee and stir just to combine.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  8. Use your hands to squeeze handfuls of streusel into large clumps, then crumble it roughly over the batter until all of it is used up.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, then continue baking at 315 degrees F for 15~20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
  10. Cool completely before unmoulding. Serve with, of course, more strong hot coffee.

Enjoy!

Ground Rules

Yesterday morning as I reached into my bag of cherries, my index fingertip was greeted by a dreadful, wet, squishiness that could only mean one thing: cherry season was over. In a desperate attempt to salvage the remaining cherries from those plagued with sickly brown craters, I quickly separated the good from the bad and ugly and refreshed the good ones under cold water.

And as much as I loved popping cherries into my mouth like munching on Mrs. Vickies salt and vinegar chips, I didn’t have it in me too demolish two cups out of obligation. With my soon-to-visit mother having recently uncovered her annually renewed passion for making preserves, I passed on the idea of a compote.

Now, having finished all of my exams, I had strange urge to purge and get rid of anything that reminded me of this past term. I couldn’t burn my books, of course, because I live in an apartment, and because textbooks these days are worth a rather considerable fortune. But I had all these odds and ends sitting around my pantry and fridge: random ends of butter, almonds, and oats, in particular. The last time I recall reaching for these was at four months ago, when the weather still nibbled at my nose slightly with its evening chill.

So, to celebrate the end of what seemed like an endless barrage of quizzes, papers, tests, and exams, I decided to – yes – continue down the path of productiveness and make a cake from scratch, and by that, I mean I milled the flours too.

and walk in love,

just as Christ also loved you

and gave Himself up for us,

an offering and a sacrifice to God

as a fragrant aroma.

Ephesians 5:2

Cherry Almond Crumb Cake
Cherry Almond Crumb Cake

For as long as I can remember, I’ve avoided the use of almond flour. I saw it as a fad, a way for companies to jack up the price of the same mass of product, much like the coconut flour and asparagus water type deal. Part of me still thinks that it is, especially when recipes religiously call for it in overwhelming amounts. I mean, seriously, going nuts over nuts isn’t exactly ‘healthy’ if that’s your goal. As they say, too much of a good thing is still just…too much. Part of me also secretly thinks I can do a better job at making flavour flours, in this case, almond and oat. The combination of homemade flours in this cake is what makes it impossibly light and airy. Another trick that you should pay attention to while making this cake? Make sure you beat the heck out of the butter-egg mixture with a stand mixer for the full 25 minutes, which also aerates the crumb.

Ingredients for the cherry almond crumb cake (serves 8):

  • 75 g softened butter
  • 30 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 85 g sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp Kirsch, optional
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 115 g sifted whole almond flour*
  • 115 g oat flour**
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 4 tbsp ground almonds*
  • 2 tbsp coarse raw sugar
  1. To make the cherry almond cake, put the butter, olive oil, sugar, salt, and flavourings in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes until completely smooth and creamy.
  2. Add one egg and continue to beat on medium speed for 5 more minutes until the mixture is pale, silky, and fully emulsified.
  3. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, taking time to beat thoroughly until the mixture is fully emulsified before each addition and scraping the bowl from time to time with a spatula.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with the rack placed in the center of the oven. Line a 9-inch cake tin with parchment paper.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond and oat flours, baking powder, and cardamom.
  6. Stop the mixer and add in half of the flour mixture. Beat on low until just incorporated, then dump in the rest of the flour. Beat on low until incorporated, then bring the speed up to as high as it will go without splashing liquid cake all up your walls for 5 seconds.
  7. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in half of the cherry halves. Scrape the batter into the cake tin and top with the remaining cherries.
  8. To make the almond crumb, stir together the ground almonds and raw sugar and sprinkle it over the cake.
  9. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until golden, the cherries have collapsed, and the cake is pulling away from the pan slightly. Cool completely, cover, and serve at room temperature the next day.

Enjoy!

*To make your own almond flour and ground almonds, place 3 cups of whole, raw, room temperature almonds in a dry food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse on high speed in short bursts at the start, scraping the sides of the bowl with a chopstick. As the nuts become more of a coarse meal, use longer pulses, still scraping the sides after each pulse. Stop as soon as you reach a fine meal consistency. Sift the almond meal in a few batches. The fine powder that manages to fall through the mesh is the almond flour, and what’s left in the mesh is the ground almonds. Store them separately in airtight bags either in the fridge for a month, of in the freezer for even longer.

**To make your own oat flour, place 2 cups rolled oats in your blender (or a smaller amount in your coffee or spice grinder). Blend to as fine as you can manage. I don’t need to sift the flour my Vitamix makes, but if your flour doesn’t come out looking like whole wheat flour, I suggest sifting it to get rid of the chunky bits. Of course, you can re-grind the chunky bits as many times as you’d like until they’re all fine enough to pass through the mesh.

three is better than one

Like popcorn kernels that get stuck between your molars, and bits of pith clogged persistently underneath one’s fingernails, it’s often the least significant things unnoticeable by others that you cannot endure about yourself. But when you have someone point out exactly what you already can’t stand about yourself (but persistently put off correcting), you don’t curse them, you don’t do them a favour and point out the needle in their eye –

You manhandle that log in your own and roll it down the mighty Fraser River.

I’ve never been a huge fan of that fuzzy nursery log story where the little bloated larvae and evanescent fungi umbrellas gorge themselves on decomposing organic matter. How dainty.

Ticket me not, nature-police. I’m just getting to my more significant point.

Don’t leave that log to rot and turn into the love bed for bad habits that will eventually stench up your life. Cut it up, cry when you do it, and you’ll feel so. much. better.

By the way, I cleaned every nook and crack in the house last night. **I don’t wink, so hint-hint-nudge-nudge, or just imagine it (but that might be inappropriate)**

How can you think

of saying to your friend,

‘Let me help you get rid

of that speck in your eye,’

when

you can’t see past the log

in your own eye?

Matthew 7:4

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Cornmilk Brioche

I was actually so excited to make this recipe which I’ve been dreaming up for a while. It’s a little bit sweet from the corn and I find that it also adds a very nice, buttery color to the dough. The best part of this is that they’re super quick! If you get everything organized, you can definitely pull these off within the hour, plus, clean-up’s a breeze as there’s no excess flour required for dusting.

Wait, I lied, the best part is how luscious and silky the dough is. Umm, I take that back, it has to be how beautiful they look coming out of the oven…or maybe the fact that they’re about to get topped with buttermilk fried chicken, maple syrup, grainy mustard, and butter lettuce. Bottom line, these are pretty delicious – even all by themselves.

Ingredients for the Cornmilk Brioche:

3/4 c canned yellow corn kernels , measured with brine

1/2 c hot water

3 1/4 c all purpose flour

1 egg, plus one yolk for brushing

1/3 c unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp liquid honey

2 tbsp instant dry yeast

pinch sea salt

IMG_5061
Cornmilk Brioche Dough

To make the cornmilk, place the corn and water in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Set aside.

Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the center. Add the egg, butter, and honey into the center of the well then pour in the corn milk. Sprinkle over yeast and let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes (depending on how warm the room is) until a foamy “skin” has formed at the top.

Add the salt and mix using the paddle attachment until incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and knead at low speed for 10~15 minutes. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time just until the dough is able to clean the sides of the bowl. When finished, the dough should be extremely smooth and elastic. You should be able to stretch it 2 arms length without breaking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with the rack placed in the center of the oven.

Divide the dough into 8-12 equally sized portions and fold each into a ball, and place them on a baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. You may want to cover the resting dough with a damp cloth so it doesn’t lose moisture.

Let the formed dough rest for 15~20 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Mix together the yolk with 1 tbsp water and brush the tops of the dough balls with this mixture.

Bake for 12 minutes. Then switch to broil to give them a glorious dark amber finish.

Whatever you decide to do with these, no doubt you will…

Enjoy!

A Scrappy Panegyric

The typical home cook may not have a sous-vide, smoke gun, nor all those chemo-gastro tricks and bits in their cupboard. But in my experience, refrigerator purgation is a fun enough sport of its own.

I have no doubt that by this age, any conscientious cook would be well aware of the amazing efficiency of North Americans in wasting food. And I’m equally certain that many of you secretly do a victory hand gesture when you come up with something perfectly delicious out of seemingly nothing.

Story of these banana scones.

1. Bananas: leftover and on the verge of becoming the breeding ground of fruit flies.

2. Cream cheese: leftover and mistaken for butter due to its dehydrated state of being.

3. Sour cream: leftover from (now on vaycay) cousins frozen pierogi endeavours.

4. Butter: the last stick – hey, that’s barely enough for anything.

Perhaps you can now begin to understand my excitement when I used all of them up and popped these golden babes out the oven!

So tell me, what’s the most outrageously delicious thing you’ve done to redeem ingredients that’ve passed the point of no return?

He feels pity

for the weak and the needy,

and he will rescue them.

He will redeem them

from oppression and violence,

for their lives are precious to him.

Psalm 72:13-14

IMG_3706edited copy

Ingredients for the Roasted Banana on top:

1 large banana, sliced into 12 1/4-inch thick rounds

2 tbsp sugar, to coat

To make the roasted banana garnish, dip one side of each banana slice in the sugar to coat generously.

Ingredients for the Banana, Cinnamon, Cream Cheese Scones:

makes 12

3 c AP flour, you can substitute up to half with whole wheat

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c cold butter, cubed

2 tbsp cold cream cheese, cubed

1 large, overripe banana

1/2 c sour cream

scant 1/3 c heavy cream

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla

To make the scones, preheat the oven to 365 degrees F, with the racks spaced evenly in the oven.

Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and blend until even. Pulse in the cold butter and cream cheese until a coarse mixture forms and there are still some small, visible bits of butter remaining. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge until needed.

Puree the banana, sour cream, heavy cream, egg, and vanilla until very smooth in a tall container using an immersion blender.

Take the flour mixture from the fridge and make a large hole in the middle. Pour in the banana mixture and stir gently with a fork just to combine – it should hardly even come together. Divide the mixture in half and knead each portion at most twice to bring it together. Gather each into a mound and press it into an inch-thick disc. Cut each disc into 6 wedges and transfer to 2 baking sheets, leaving 1-inch space in between.

Brush with a little extra cream and garnish with the sugar coated banana slices. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until pale golden and risen.

Serve warm or at room temperature…

…with a cup of black, obviously.

 

the Original Drive-Thru

It’s always in the simplest, purest of ingredients that you notice the biggest difference. This time, I’m shining the light on a local farm that treats their hens right. And of course, happy hens => happy eggs => happy eating.

What’s even better? I don’t even have to stand in line at the farmer’s market to get them. They have a drive-through right at the farm, and literally all you need to do is “honk for service”. Yup, an egg drive-through. Where do I even come from, right?

Maple Ridge, British Columbia. And the adorable farm is called “Never Say Die” Nursery. See? Adorable.

But back to the eggs, gorgeous doesn’t describe them. And the term #yolkporn disgusts me. Seriously, don’t adulterate something so natural and nourishing. Whenever I come across a good egg it always makes me momentarily breathless. It must be the combination of the yolk’s bright tangerine color (#f28500 hex color code, look it up), the way the yolk stands so proudly in a visibly distinct sac of albumen when you crack it open that inspires me to treat it well.

This time, it’s poaching. There’s something about the tenderness of spring asparagus, the whimsy of sweet peas, and the viridity of a jiggly poached egg that makes them, together, instinctively irresistible.

As for those limp, watery eggs that have a sad, deflated, pale yellow yolk swimming inside of them, hide them in a box-mix cake or something. Do not attempt to serve them in their form. Also, never buy them again, for those eggs are from caged, drugged hens (in the name of mass economical production! oh joy!) and should not even be produced.

Hopefully you’ve seen the light as far as the topic of eggs, now go and convince your taste buds!

Take no part in

the unfruitful

works of darkness,

but instead

expose them.

Ephesians 5:11

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Believe it or not, this is my very first time poaching an egg. So as you can see, it really is nothing to be scared of. To be honest, I was pretty terrified right up to the point I lowered in the egg, but immediately I realized that you are physically incapable of messing this up so long as you follow along this little tutorial. Also, as if I have not drilled it into your kitchen backsplash, a good free range egg is not negotiable – you and your family deserve at least that.

So here goes:

How to poach an egg

Step 1: If your egg has been sitting in the fridge, bring your egg to room temperature by submerging them in a bowl of warm tap water for 5 minutes. Pat your egg dry and crack it into a small bowl. If your egg’s already at room temperature, just crack it into a small bowl. Take care not to break the yolk. (This should not be difficult as fresh free range eggs have very robust yolks!)

Step 2: Add 2 tbsp white vinegar to a large pot of water and let it come up to a rolling boil.

Step 3: Turn off the heat and use a spoon to stir the water quickly in a clock-wise direction to make a whirlpool in the pot’s center.

Step 4: While the current is still strong, gently tip the egg into the middle of the whirlpool.

Step 5: Cover and let it poach for 150 seconds (2 1/2 minutes), then carefully lift it out with a slotted spoon.

At this point you can either serve it immediately, or place it in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.

Now let’s get on with the recipe!

Ingredients for the Penne with Pan-Roasted Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Pesto, and Caramelized Lemon

serves 4

340 g organic corn penne, or your preferred chunky pasta (I like penne because it’s the same shape as the asparagus)

1 large lemon, scrubbed clean and halved

3 tbsp olive oil

600 g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch sticks on the diagonal

1/2 c basil pesto (recipe follows)

2/3 c white wine (whatever you have on hand, I used chablis)

1 1/4 c frozen sweet peas

lots of fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil to season

To make the asparagus penne, cook the pasta as directed on the package.

Meanwhile, heat your cast iron on the stove until very hot. Place the lemon halves, cut sides down in the hot pan and hold them down firmly for 30~60 seconds, or until the surface is well-browned and caramelized. This will completely change the flavour profile of the lemon and give it a sweeter, deeper dimension. Slice off and reserve the caramelized parts only. (Use the rest for lemon water or something.)

Keep the pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil just to coat the bottom and add the asparagus. Season generously and let it sit undisturbed for 20 seconds or so to get some browned, crispy bits. Stir a couple times, just until all the pieces are bright green.

Transfer the asparagus into a large salad/mixing bowl. Stir in the frozen peas to stop the cooking process. By now the pasta should be cooked. Drain and toss it with the vegetables.

Keep the element on and add the remaining oil to the pan and stir in the pesto to wake up its flavour. Deglaze with the white wine and stir until the alcohol burns off. Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture and stir through. Check and adjust the seasoning.

Divide between four plates. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, top with an optional (but definitely recommended) poached egg, and serve with a slice of caramelized lemon.

Enjoy!

To make a vegan pesto, throw 50 g sweet basil, 2 garlic cloves, 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts, 3/4 tsp sea salt, and 1/2 cup olive oil in a small food processor and whiz to a textured puree. Store in a glass jar, pour a thin film of olive oil over top to seal and cover with the lid. This will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.