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’.
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- fresh basil leaves
- drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- 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)
- 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.
- zucchini salad: Add all the salad ingredients into a serving bowl and mix to combine.
- 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.