Steamed bream, herby pasta: Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for 30-minute meals | Food

Steamed bream, herby pasta: Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for 30-minute meals | Food

For some, a 30-minute meal is a super-quick fix. For others, it’s a longer than they usually spend making dinner. For me, however, whether it’s midweek or when we have friends over at the weekend, it’s pretty much where I’m at. On the one hand, 30 minutes is no time at all – it’s an episode of something quick on TV, a podcast listen or a catch-up with a buddy on the phone – but it’s also enough time to make something special. And, if I’m feeling really organised, I’ll call a friend or listen to a podcast while I’m cooking, so I’m smashing it, or at least feel as if I am, before supper’s even served.

Steamed bream, red bulgur and spicy pine nuts (pictured top)

A well-stocked pantry will mean you’ll have to buy only minimal ingredients for this. That said, if you don’t have what’s listed below, you can sub them with alternatives: almonds or walnuts, say, instead of the pine nuts, cherry tomatoes instead of baby plums, and so on.

Prep 5 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
, peeled and finely chopped (180g)
150g baby plum tomatoes
Fine sea salt
¼ tsp chipotle flakes
250g coarse bulgur wheat
250ml light coconut milk
½ vegetable stock cube
, crumbled (or 1½ tsp bouillon powder)
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 sustainably sourced sea bream fillets
, skinned
3 tbsp (10g) picked coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the quick-pickled shallots
1 large banana shallot, peeled and cut into thin rounds (50g)
2 tsp lime juice
⅛ tsp caster sugar

For the spicy pine nuts
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp chipotle flakes

Put a large, nonstick frying pan for which you have a lid on a medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, tomatoes and a half-teaspoon of salt, and fry, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, until the onions turn translucent and the tomatoes start to break down.

Stir in the chipotle, fry for two minutes, then add the bulgur and toast for two minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, then stir in the stock cube, tomato paste and 200ml water, turn down the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put a small frying pan on a medium-high heat, add all the spicy pine nut ingredients and fry gently, stirring often, for four to six minutes, until the garlic turns golden. Tip into a small, heatproof bowl and set aside to cool slightly (make the nuts well in advance, if you like).

Sprinkle an eighth of a teaspoon of salt in total over the flesh side of the fish fillets. Take the lid off the bulgur pot, give it a good stir, then lay the fillets skinned side up on top. Cover again, leave to cook for five minutes, then take off the heat and leave to rest, still covered, for two minutes. Finish with a heavy grind of pepper.

While the fish is cooking, mix all the quick pickle ingredients in a small bowl and set aside for five minutes.

Scatter the shallots on top of the fish, spoon over the pine nuts and their oil, sprinkle with the coriander and serve.

Olive salsa verde and golden raisin pasta

Yotam Ottolenghi’s salsa verde golden raisin and olive pasta.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s olive salsa verde and golden raisin pasta.

Inspired by Sicilian pastas, which contrast the sweet and the savoury, this is quick, easy and very versatile. A fridge and cupboard raid will make for countless variations – the addition of some tinned fish would be very welcome, for example.

Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

360g trofie, or any other short, dry pasta such as penne
⅛ tsp saffron
3 tbsp golden raisins
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the almond pangrattato
30g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
4 tsp olive oil
45g panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Fine sea salt and black pepper

For the salsa verde
20g mint leaves
20g parsley leaves
20g basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp capers
80g pitted green olives
, roughly torn into quarters
1 tbsp good white-wine vinegar
75ml olive oil

For the pangrattato, put a large frying pan on a medium-high heat, add the almonds and a teaspoon of olive oil, and toast, stirring frequently, for three minutes, until golden brown. Add the breadcrumbs, the remaining tablespoon of oil and a good grind of pepper, and toast, stirring constantly, for four minutes more, until a deep, golden colour. Tip into a medium bowl, stir in the lemon zest and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

For the salsa verde, put all the herbs on a board and chop finely. Add the garlic and capers, and repeat until very finely chopped. Scrape into a large bowl, add the olives, vinegar, oil, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and mix well.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and saffron, and cook for six minutes (or four minutes less than the packet instructions say for al dente). Drop in the raisins, cook for two minutes more, until plump, then drain and reserve 50ml of the cooking water.

Return the pasta to the dry pan, put it on a low heat and stir in the salsa, reserved pasta water and lemon juice. Divide between four shallow bowls and serve scattered with the pangrattato.

Brothy beans with roast mushrooms and chive salsa

Yotam Ottolenghi’s brothy beans with roasted mushrooms and chive salsa.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s brothy beans with roast mushrooms and chive salsa.

This is a great weekday lunch or dinner. If you like, swap the butter beans for any tinned beans you have to hand. Serve as it is, or with plenty of crusty bread or fluffy rice.

Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 6

10g dried porcini
500g mixed mushrooms
, cut in half – I used king oyster, oyster, chestnut and shiitake
150g shallots, peeled and cut in half (150g)
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

For the beans
2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves
, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained (470-480g net)
1½ tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp wholegrain mustard

For the salsa
40g chives, roughly chopped
25g parsley, hard stems discarded, soft stems and leaves roughly chopped
1½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
90ml olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9. Put the porcini in a heatproof jug, cover with 300ml just-boiled water and leave to soak for five minutes.

Meanwhile, put the fresh mushrooms, shallots and thyme on a large oven tray lined with greaseproof paper, add three tablespoons of olive oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway, until golden and slightly charred.

While the mushrooms are roasting, get on with the beans. Put a small saute pan on a medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic and saute for a minute, until fragrant. Carefully spoon in the soaked porcini, taking care not to add any sediment at the bottom of the jug, and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain in the porcini liquid and leave to cook for another seven minutes. Stir in the butter beans and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, cook for another three minutes, then take off the heat and stir in a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice and the mustard.

To make the salsa, put the chives, parsley, cumin seeds, garlic and olive oil in the small bowl of a food processor, blitz until almost smooth, then scrape into a small bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and set aside.

To assemble the dish, spoon the beans on to a large platter with a lip. Scatter a third of the salsa on top, swirling it in slightly, then arrange the roast mushroom and shallot mixture on top. Spoon over another third of the salsa and serve with the remaining salsa on the side.