Braised tofu, sea bass and pasta: Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for weeknight meals | Fundamental course

The perennial query for weeknight meals is, what are the foundations? For me, for now, and each time I can, it’s primarily a 30-minute window, give or take, from once I begin chopping to dishing up, and just about serve straight from the pan, too. It’s fairly often pasta for consolation, or steamed fish for pace. In fact, swaps are made and shortcuts taken, however these are my speedy options for when it’s 8pm and I’m ravenous.

Steamed sea bass with cumin and tomato oil (pictured high)

Steamed fish is already a very fast dinner however, for those who want, the oil for this one might be made a day forward and reheated simply earlier than utilizing. Within the absence of a steamer, bake the fish at 240C (220C)/475F/fuel 9 for a similar time, then pour over the oil as under. Steamed greens and plain rice are all that’s wanted by the use of accompaniment.

Prep 10 min
Cook dinner 20 min
Serves 2

For the fish
20ml olive oil
4 sustainably sourced sea bass fillets
10g piece contemporary ginger
, peeled and finely grated
Fantastic sea salt
6-8 spring onions (80g), trimmed and reduce widthways into three items

For the tomato oil
350g cherry tomatoes
75ml olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1½ tsp floor cumin
1 tsp aleppo chilli flakes

To serve
Steamed greens
Plain rice
1 lemon
, halved

Put all of the elements for the bass in a big bowl with a half-teaspoon of salt, and toss gently to coat. Sandwich collectively two of the fillets, with the pores and skin on each dealing with outwards, then placed on a plate that may slot in a steamer. Repeat with the opposite two fillets. Prepare the spring onions in two bunches alongside the fish.

Now for the oil. Put a small frying pan on a excessive warmth. Drizzle the tomatoes with a half-teaspoon of oil and season with a quarter-teaspoon of salt. As soon as the pan is smoking scorching, char the tomatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan sometimes, till they’re barely collapsed, then tip right into a bowl and return the pan to the range on a medium-low warmth.

Put the remaining oil and the tomato paste within the scorching pan and cook dinner, stirring gently, for 10 minutes, till the oil turns purple and the tomato paste has gathered in little clumps. Stir within the cumin, chilli and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, cook dinner for 30 seconds, then return the tomatoes to the pan and take off the warmth.

In the meantime, half-fill a saucepan with water and produce it to a boil. As soon as boiling, flip down the warmth to medium-high, place the steamer basket with the fish plate in it on high, cowl and depart to cook dinner for six minutes.

Fastidiously carry the plate out of the steamer and pour off any liquid from it. Spoon the recent oil and tomatoes on high and serve with rice and greens, with the lemon halves alongside for squeezing over.

Braised tofu with bitter yoghurt and spinach

Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised tofu with sour yoghurt and spinach
Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised tofu with bitter yoghurt and spinach.

That is impressed by Persian yoghurt braises, during which floor nuts are sometimes used to thicken the sauce. Frying the tofu provides flavour, however you possibly can skip this stage if want be, to make the cooking even faster. Mess around with the inexperienced greens, and dissipate what it’s important to hand – chard and inexperienced beans, for instance, each work nicely right here, too. Both means, serve with rice or one other easy grain.

Prep 10 min
Cook dinner 20 min
Serves 2

75ml vegetable oil
1 x 280g block agency tofu
, reduce into 3cm cubes and patted dry
Fantastic sea salt and black pepper
1 onion
, peeled and finely sliced (150g)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
220g plain yoghurt
1 tbsp lime juice
30g walnuts
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp scorching madras curry powder
¼ tsp floor turmeric
1 tsp caster sugar
(or granulated)
50g spinach leaves
50g frozen peas

Put 4 tablespoons of the oil in a big frying pan on a medium warmth, and season the tofu with a quarter-teaspoon of salt. As soon as the oil is scorching, add the tofu and fry for about 5 minutes, turning till it’s golden on all sides. Switch the tofu to a plate, leaving the oil within the pan.

Add the onion, garlic, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and grind of pepper to the pan and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, for quarter-hour, till softened and beginning to brown.

In the meantime, put the yoghurt, lime juice, walnuts and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a blender and blitz for 3 minutes, till utterly easy.

Put the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small pan on a medium warmth and, as soon as scorching, add the cumin and mustard seeds, and fry for 30 seconds, simply till the mustard seeds begin to pop. Take off the warmth and put to at least one aspect.

As soon as the onions begin to brown, return the fried tofu to the pan (or the unfried tofu cubes, for those who didn’t cook dinner them earlier), stir within the curry powder and turmeric, and fry for 30 seconds, simply till aromatic. Pour within the yoghurt combination, 250ml water and the sugar, and cook dinner on a medium warmth for 5 minutes, till the sauce begins to thicken and cling to the tofu. Stir within the spinach and peas, cook dinner till the leaves have simply wilted, then take off the warmth.

Pour the mustard and cumin oil everywhere in the high and serve straight from the pan.

Cabbage and poppy seed pasta

Yotam Ottolenghi’s cabbage and poppy seed pasta
Yotam Ottolenghi’s cabbage and poppy seed pasta.

That is probably the most comforting of weeknight dishes. It’s impressed by my colleague Katja’s two favorite childhood dishes, pasta with cabbage and noodles with walnuts and poppy seeds. The sauce is buttery, candy and nutty, and I find it irresistible simply as it’s, however if you want, lighten it by including herbs resembling dill or tarragon.

Prep 5 min
Cook dinner 20 min
Serves 2-4

120g unsalted butter
1 white cabbage
, quartered, cored and reduce into 1cm-wide strips (550g)
Fantastic sea salt and black pepper
4 tsp poppy seeds
1½ tsp caster sugar
300g tagliatelle
soured cream

Put the butter, 250g of the cabbage and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan and cook dinner on a excessive warmth for 20 minutes, stirring for the final two minutes, till the cabbage is a deep brown and the butter has additionally browned. Take off the warmth, stir within the poppy seeds, sugar and a teaspoon of floor black pepper, then put aside two tablespoons of the browned cabbage combine to sprinkle on high on the finish.

In the meantime, fill a big saucepan with two and a half litres of water, add 50g salt and produce to a boil. As soon as the water is boiling, drop within the remaining 300g uncooked cabbage and the pasta, and boil for a minute lower than the packet directions. Set a colander over a big bowl within the sink, then drain the cabbage and pasta, reserving 150ml of the cooking water.

Return the strained pasta and cabbage to the now dry saucepan, add the brown butter cabbage combination and 100ml of the reserved pasta water, then use tongs to stir and toss till the sauce comes collectively and coats the pasta properly; if want be, add a bit of extra cooking water to assist it emulsify.

Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of reserved browned cabbage on high, dollop on the soured cream and serve straight from the pan.

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