No time to spend hours prepping dinner? No problem. These recipes from Deliciously Ella’s new cookbook ‘Quick & Easy’ are full of flavour, unbelievably tasty and oh-so-satisfying. Take it away Ella…
Mushroom & Walnut Ragu
I made this for some girlfriends who have been taste-testing our recipes since day one, and they said it was their favourite dish ever! It’s hearty, warming, really rich and just a dream dinner. The leftovers work brilliantly too; I’ll often make a double portion and have the second serving with jacket potatoes later in the week or take it to work with some quinoa or salad for an on-the-go option.
SERVES 4 (with a little left over)
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 250ml boiling water
- 100g walnuts
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- olive oil
- 400g chestnut or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 × 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1–2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 4 portions of pasta (about 80g per person)
- salt and pepper
- handful of chopped parsley, to serve
- Start by soaking the dried mushrooms. Put them into a bowl with the boiling water and leave for 20 minutes. Once soaked, drain well (but keep the liquid), then cut the mushrooms into small pieces.
- While the mushrooms are soaking, chop the walnuts into tiny pieces – they need to look like large breadcrumbs. Place them in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and toast for about 5 minutes, until golden, stirring every now and again. Once toasted, remove from the heat and spoon into a bowl. Place the frying pan back on the heat.
- Add the onion, garlic and celery to the frying pan, along with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5–10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the fresh mushrooms and red pepper, with the thyme, oregano and rosemary, and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, tamari and dried mushrooms with their water. Leave to simmer for 10–15 minutes – you want the ragu to be thick and have lost the excess liquid. Stir in the walnuts and nutritional yeast and leave them to cook in the sauce for a final 5 minutes.
- While the ragu is simmering, cook your pasta in a pan of boiling water, following the instructions on the packet. Drain well then stir into the ragu once both are ready. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Chocolate Banana Muffins
I absolutely love a banana muffin, they’ve been a favourite throughout my life and paired with chunks of melted dark chocolate and roasted walnuts they are just perfect: soft, fluffy, sweet and so easy to make. If you don’t want twelve muffins, just halve the mix and make six, which will see you through a week’s worth of afternoon snacks!
- 3 large overripe bananas (about 350g, peeled weight)
- 150ml almond or oat milk
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 4 tablespoons cacao powder
- 200g spelt flour
- 100g coconut (or brown) sugar
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 80g dark chocolate (we like 70% cocoa solids)
- about 12 walnuts (or pecans), roughly chopped or broken (if you want to make these nut free leave these out)
- Preheat the oven to fan 180°C fan and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cases.
- Chop the dark chocolate into chunks, roughly the size of a chocolate chip.
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl using a fork, until smooth and creamy.
- Add the almond milk, coconut oil, cacao powder, spelt flour, coconut sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt, then stir until a smooth batter forms.
- Stir the dark chocolate into the mixture. I always keep a small handful of it back so that I can put it on top of the muffins, as it makes them look even more chocolatey and delicious.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of mixture into each muffin case, scatter over some walnuts, if using, and add a little piece of chocolate to the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then leave the muffins to cool for 10–15 minutes before serving.
Now you’ve got the meal sorted, why not pair it with some stylish tableware?SHOP KITCHEN »
Recipe taken from Deliciously Ella Quick & Easy 09/07/20 Hardback £25.00 Yellow Kite Books