Pranzo Italiano – Vegetarian Cooking Class

Melone Appetizer (for 6)

Peel, seed and thinly slice 1/4 or 1/2 ripe canteloupe (depending on size)
Peel, seed and thinly slice 1 or 2 ripe avocados
Drain 2 to 3 roasted red peppers in oil, and slice into long thin (1cm wide) strips
Layer avocado on cantaloupe and wrap roast pepper on top, arranged on a serving platter. Option to add fresh basil on top.

Tomato – Basil – Cream sauce (for 6)
¾ cup raw cashew
1/2 medium onion, diced
5-6 large ripe tomatoes, diced
5 to 10 fresh basil leaves, carefully cut into big squares
1 pound fresh cooked pasta
Cover raw cashew in water and soak one to two hours. Drain and cream in high-speed blender with 1/3 cup fresh water, adding more in small quantity until desired and smooth consistency is reached.
In a hot sauce-pan, in a bit of grapeseed oil, sauté diced onions, until raw onion flavor evaporates and onions are softened and golden (3 to 5 minutes).
Add tomatoes, sauté to release the pulp, then bring to simmer and maintain for ten to fifteen minutes, until sauce consistency is reached. Add fresh basil, stir and simmer a few minutes longer. Then turn off heat, stir in cashew cream and serve on top of cooked pasta.

No sauce veggie pizza variations
(for 6)
1 standard pizza dough batch
½ large or 1 small zucchini, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 can quartered artichokes, drained
1 can sliced black olives
1 small pack (about 200g) goat cheese coated in herbs
2 tbsp dry oregano
salt and pepper, olive oil

Use olive oil to lightly grease a large baking sheet, 13 by 18 inch would work, and stretch the dough over it. Preheat oven to 425F.

For one half: in a large hot pan with a bit of oil, on medium-high heat, simmer onion slices until softened, then lower heat to medium-low, and keep sautéing and stirring with a wooden spoon until lightly caramelized. Meanwhile, peel and slice zucchini, sprinkle with one tablespoon salt, stir and allow to sit in a large bowl for up to fifteen minutes. Drain zucchini, and pat dry using clean dish towel.
Lightly brush pizza dough with olive oil, sprinkle oregono onto it, and spread out zucchini and onions on one half, adding freshly ground black peppper to taste.

On the other half, spread out olives and artichokes, topping with half a teaspoon ground salt and ground black pepper. Drizzle with one teaspoon of olive oil.
Bake 10 minutes on center rack, rotating halfway, then check doneness and adjusting heat source and time to make a well-cooked, chewy pizza.
Spoon goat cheese knobs onto artichoke-olive half, with even spaceing.

Fennel Lentil Orange Salad (for 6)
1 cup cooked eston or black French lentils
1-2 fennel bulbs, tops and cores removed, and thinly sliced
2-3 oranges, sectioned
1 knob of grated organic ginger
1 tsp thyme
Sear fennel slices and ginger in a bit of olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes to soften and render more digestible. Toss in thyme.
Combine the ingredients, and top with dressing.

Dressing - whisk together:
2 tbsp olive oil + 1-2 tbsp lemon or lime juice + salt & pepper

Zuppa Inglese (for 6)
2 rows of Misura egg-free & dairy-free round cookies (from package with four rows)
14oz can of mango purée
1 can coconut cream, refrigera overnight, keeping right side up
1 lime, juice & zest
2 tbsp raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Break cookies and spread into small glass casserole dish.
Separate the coconut cream from the can into a bowl and whisk in the lime juice.
Pour 1/3 cup of mango purée over the cookies. Spoon half the coconut cream over top. Repeat the process with more cookies, mango purée and coconut cream.
Top with lime zest, mint and pistachios. Let sit thirty minutes, either room temp. or refrigerated, and serve by spooning into cups. Best eaten with spoon.

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