This quick and easy vegetarian lunch/dinner was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. I love Jamie Oliver, think his 30 minutes meals are awesome and more recently his 15 minute meals – genius. Sure, it’ll take you and I longer than 15 minutes to prepare/cook from start to finish, but still, he has a knack of putting together great, healthy flavours in a really simply way. I made this meal for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The next day I planned a dinner party for the night after so I could make it again. The lightness of the ricotta fritters is lovely with the rich sauce which is filled with all my favourite ‘flavour foods’.

Serves 4


tomato sauce

  • 25g dried porcini /shitake mushrooms – refreshed in 1 cup hot water
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 1 large dried red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 700g passata (tomato puree)
  • 8 black olives (remove the stones and roughly torn up)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil – roughly chopped (reserve a few leaves to serve)

ricotta fritters

  • 400g ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Rind from 1 lemon (keep lemon aside for salad)
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg – grated
  • 40g parmesan cheese – grated
  • S&P to season
  • 1 Tbsp oil for shallow frying

zucchini salad

  • 3 large zucchinis – grated / shredded / chopped / spiralized
  • 1 fresh red chilli – finely sliced
  • Juice of lemon (from fritters)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint

to serve

  • fresh basil leaves
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar


  1. tomato sauce: Add all the sauce ingredients (including the mushroom soaking water) into a saucepan on medium heat, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, stirring occasionally so ensure the sauce doesn’t stick. Let it bubble away while you cook the fritters / prepare the salad. (The longer you leave it the thicker/richer it will get)
  2. ricotta fritters: While the sauce is bubbling away, heat oil in a non-stick fry-pan on medium heat. Add all the other fritter ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine well with a wooden spoon. Dollop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil and leave for 5-10 mins until firm enough to turn over. (Makes about 10 fritters.) Carefully turn over and repeat on the other side. Once brown on both sides, carefully remove and place on a plate until ready to serve.
  3. zucchini salad: Add all the salad ingredients into a serving bowl and mix to combine.
  4. to serve: Pour the sauce into a casserole dish and layer the fritters on top. Scatter with fresh basil leaves and drizzle all over with balsamic. Serve with salad.