3 tasty recipes for a vegetarian lunch


Vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals are the essential foods that feed those who chose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, true philosophies of life into which various motivations and beliefs converge, and to whom in recent years is focusing an increasing interest, accomplice the furor aroused by recent events such as bird flu, the relation between red meat and cancer, or the repeated incidents of animal abuse in factory farms. If you are also one of the world’s veg lovers or simply just enjoy eating healthy, be inspired by the three recipes that Italian Traditions offers you for a delicate lunch, light but still tasty!

Vegetarian lasagna with pesto

Prepare the béchamel by bringing to boil 1 liter of unsweetened soy milk, add 100g of flour and 40g of extra virgin olive oil. Put on fire and cook the cream, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t form any lumps. Season with salt, freshly ground nutmeg and pepper. Prepare the pesto by putting 100g of basil in a blender and add 30g of pine nuts, a pinch of coarse salt, 1 small clove of garlic and 100g of Parmesan cheese. Whisk in spurts so as not to overheat and blacken the leaves and then add the sauce to make it a uniform cream. Dice 250g of mozzarella. Arrange in a greased baking pan a first layer of fresh egg pasta for the lasagna and distributed on the surface a few tablespoons of cream and some mozzarella cubes. Keep it up until the end. Sprinkle the surface with more Parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C.

Savoy cabbage rolls

Finely slice 200g of cultivated mushrooms and cook them for 10 minutes in a large pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and 1 clove of garlic. Peel and cut into cubes 300g of potatoes, then boil them in salted water, drain and leave to cool. Blanch then 8 fairly large savoy cabbage leaves. In a mixing bowl combine the potatoes mashed with a fork, the lightly chopped mushrooms, ½ glass of milk, 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 25g of grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg, and then mix well all the ingredients. Spread the blanched cabbage leaves on a cutting board and lay carefully in the center the mushroom stuffing. Enclose well and tie up off with kitchen string to form 8 bassoons. Place them in a lightly oiled baking pan and distribute on the surface 70g of melted butter and another 25g of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 200°C for 15 minutes.

Meatballs of chickpeas (chickpea-balls)

Puree into the vegetable mill with large holes 300 g of boiled chickpeas and a peeled  and boiled potato. Pick up and put the obtained puree into a large bowl. Then, add the finely chopped onion, after letting it sauté in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil for a couple of minutes. Unite with a bit of finely chopped parsley, a teaspoon of curry, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Work with a wooden spoon until the mixture is compact. With wet hands form the meatballs by pressing them well and passing them, furtherly, in breadcrumbs. Distribute them on a slightly oiled baking pan and cook at 180°C for 20 minutes after applying the surface with extra-virgin olive oil. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving. They can also be consumed cold.