I’d like to introduce to you the revamped 2nd edition of my first cookbook, Discovering Vegan Italian. It was originally published in 2019. My intention for the cookbook was to prove that classic Italian dishes could be veganised with just a little creativity.
Over the years readers have shared their love of the Olive Oil Lemon Cake, Tiramisu, Walnut Ragu Lasagne, Polpette and Spaghetti Carbonara from the 1st Edition. I hear stories of food stained pages from well-worn use. My heart sings.
Fast forward several years and many cooking adventures later - I have since developed more ideas, knowledge, improved photography and recipes to improve that 1st edition.
My hope has always been to demystify non-vegan recipes and allow everyone to enjoy the Italian classics, the favourites. And perhaps my deeper yearning as a vegan is to ensure that being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your cultural traditions, love of food, flavour and indulgence.
The 2019 edition featured one of the world’s most beloved Italian desserts, tiramisu. For this 2nd edition it was time to develop another favourite: Sicilian-style cannoli. A creamy, ricotta style filling encased in a crispy shell. It may have taken me a few years, but now I have a vegan version that is reminiscent of the traditional version.
New recipes include:
-Mozzarella in carrozza
-Fettuccine al burro
-Pasta with walnut ragu
-Sicilian style cannoli
I look forward to sharing these new recipes and the reprinted book once again. I hope international readers will hang in there for an overseas distribution and the ebook which is to follow.
If you have an Italian recipe you would love veganised, be sure to let me know. The list is growing!
Here is perhaps the most popular, most cooked recipe from Discovering Vegan Italian. And one that I make every other week!
OLIVE OIL LEMON CAKE RECIPE
Homemade Italian cakes are often simple and plain – perfect to dip into your coffee. This version uses olive oil to create a moist cake and uses only a few pantry staples. And, better yet, no eggs required. If you would like a neutral flavoured oil, replace the olive oil with light olive oil, sunflower or canola oil. This is my go-to cake and I hope it can be yours too.
SERVES 8 | 45 MINUTES + COOLING
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup white sugar
1 cup soy milk
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice and zest of 1 lemon
icing sugar to serve
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 170C.
Grease or line a cake tin. I use a springform 20 x 6 cm round tin. But you can also use a slightly larger tin.
Into a large bowl, sift the flour, bicarb soda and stir through the sugar. Into another large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, a little at a time and stir until thoroughly combined. Be careful not to over mix. If the mix is a little dry, add a dash or so more milk.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (especially checking the middle of the cake).
Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then transfer onto a cake rack to cool further.
To serve, dust with icing sugar. The cake is equally delicious the next day.
If you’re looking to snazzy up this cake, grab 1 cup of fruit (berries, diced apples or stone fruit) and fold through the batter before baking. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Or replace the lemon juice and zest with orange.
You can get your 2nd edition copy of Discovering Vegan Italian here.