Vegetarian recipe: tagliatelle with ricotta and grilled green asparagus

I simply love turning “meaty” recipes into vegetarian ones. This one is one of our new favourites. You can make it fairly quickly as it doesn’t really need much work. If you want this recipe non-vegetarian, substitute the quorn cubes for cubes of chicken breast which you’ve cubed and then baked in a pan with some chicken spices. But do try the veggie option, it won’t disappoint!

Your shopping list for a generous portion for 2:

  • 250g tagliatelle pasta
  • a bunch of green asparagus
  • a handful of frozen green peas
  • a box of quorn cubes
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • a handful of pine nuts
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • zest of one lemon

The recipe:

Bring a large pot of water to boiling point and cook the tagliatelle al dente according to the instructions. Save some of the cooking water and set aside.

Discard the woody ends of the asparagus. Heat some olive oil in a large grilling pan. Add the asparagus and grill them all over, turning them over when necessary. Add the frozen peas to the grill at the end and heat them up too.

grilled green asparagus

Roast the pine nuts in a small pan over a low heat. Do not add oil to the pan, as the nuts are going to sweat out their own oil.

roasted pine nuts

In a bowl, mix up the ricotta with the zest of the lemon and the crushed garlic clove.  Season to taste with pepper and salt.

grated lemon zest ricotta

Bake the quorn cubes with some heated olive oil in a pan. Season them too with pepper and salt, or even some chicken spices whilst they’re baking. It goes really well together.

vegetarian quorn cubes

Drain the pasta and put it back into the cooking pot. Add the ricotta mixture to the pasta as well as some of the saved cooking fluid of the pasta. Make sure it turns into a nice creamy sauce, so don’t put in too much of the water at the beginning, but add gradually if necessary. Divide the pasta over two plates and spoon over the grilled asparagus and peas. Scatter over the quorn as well as some of the pine nuts as a finishing touch.

Bon appétit!

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