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Veganissimo Italian vegan cuisine

Strawberry Panna Cotta
Strawberry Panna Cotta

By Rashmita Solanki

ITALIAN food is delicious and it mostly contains some kind of animal-derived ingredients
such as cheese, eggs and milk.

So, when I encountered the new book, Veganissimo – Italian Vegan cuisine, by Angelique Roussel, I was intrigued.

There are recipes to help you make vegan versions of mozzarella, ricotta and mascarpone as well as fresh pasta without eggs. Each recipe is straight forward and the ingredients are readily available.

Each dish has been photographed so that you can see what the finished vegan version
of your favourite Italian dishes should look like.

Here are some wonderful recipes taken from Veganissimo by Angelique Roussel.

Published by Grub Street. ISBN: 978 1 911621 409

Strawberry Panna Cotta

(Serves 6)

Warm the almond milk in a pan. Mix the sugar with the almond cream in a bowl. Add the warm milk and agar-agar. Mix well. Transfer to a pan and bring to the boil for 30 seconds.
Pour the mixture into ramekins.

Leave to cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour.

In the meantime, make the strawberry coulis: wash and hull the strawberries. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Green olive and hazelnut cantucci

Green olive and hazelnut cantucci

(Makes about 30)

250g plain flour
100g maize flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp fennel seeds (optional)
50g shelled whole hazelnuts
80g pitted green olives
50ml olive oil
2 tbsp hazelnut butter
150ml hazelnut milk (or other plant-based milk)

Preheat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Mix the flours with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, fennel seeds, hazelnuts and olives, in a bowl.

Mix the oil, hazelnut butter and hazelnut milk together in another bowl. Pour the mixture of wet ingredients into the other bowl and mix well. When the resulting dough becomes
compact, knead until smooth. If it continues to stick, dust with a little flour. Divide the
dough into two 18 x 4cm logs. Lay the rectangles on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 20–25 minutes until light golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely. Cut into 1cm thick biscuits.

Arrange the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake again for 10
minutes at 180C (gas mark 4). Leave to cool inside the oven.

Aubergine Polpette

Aubergine Polpette

(Makes about 12)

2 small aubergines
olive oil
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
30g corn breadcrumbs
40g rice flakes (or certified gluten free rolled oats)
a few fresh basil leaves

Wash and halve the aubergines lengthways. Lightly score the cut side, drizzle with olive
oil and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 180C (gas mark 4).

Scoop out the flesh and blend with the tomato purée. Mix the chia seeds with 2 tablespoons of filtered (or still mineral) water. Soak for 5-10 minutes. Mix the aubergine flesh with the peeled and pressed garlic, peeled and finely sliced onion, corn breadcrumbs, rice flakes (or oats) and soaked chia seeds. Adjust the seasoning. Mix well and rest the mixture for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Wash and finely chop the basil, and mix into
the aubergine mixture. Roll the mixture by hand into balls.

Arrange the balls on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes.