Vegetarian cottage pie

I just thought I would share these.
I would have never bought something like this 2 years ago.
It would have been too country.
Too homey.
Not chic enough.
Not modern enough.

I absolutely love my chooks.
They are so fun and playful.
A side of myself I am discovering. 

This was our dinner tonight.

Vegetarian cottage pie.

I have never been a meat eater.
But I have always loved Spaghetti Bolognese, cottage pie, chilli con carne (without the chilli of course). 
Since I have become a vegetarian,I have found it imperative to find some good meals to get my minced meat fix.

So I stumbled upon Rachel's site.
And her wonderful vegetarian cottage pie.

Go have a look around. 
Her photos are so mouthwatering and she cooks amazing food.
Did I mention that she lives in Italy?

Here is my version of her recipe, which is becoming a favourite in our home this winter.
I don't think that I write very good recipes, I tend to decide what to do as I go when I cook. Tasting, smelling, sensing. 
My meal evolves as I cook it.
So I have done my best to tell you what I have done. All quantities are estimates. You know what tastes you like, so do what feels right as you go.

  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (don't worry about the alcohol, it cooks away)
  • 200g cooked chickpeas
  • 200g cooked borlotti beans
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • flick of tabasco
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mashed potatoes, made the way you love them
  • lots of grated cheese

Fry up your celery, carrot and zucchini in a heavy based frying pan until translucent.

Add the can of tomatoes, vegetable stock, red wine and tabasco.
Add chickpeas and borlotti beans.
Simmer on a medium heat.

The length of cooking will depend on how long you have soaked your beans for, or if you have them in a can. I had chickpeas in a can, but I had soaked the borlotti beans overnight. I could have cooked my stew for longer, as the borlotti beans were still a little hard in the end.

But I had screaming children in the kitchen.
They were hungry!
We had to get this thing in the oven.

My stew cooked for about an hour, but it could have done with another 30 minutes.

Your stew should now be nice and thick, but still saucy. Don't be scared to add more stock if it seems to dry out too much.
Taste your stew and adjust to your taste with salt, pepper, more tabasco, or any other herbs and spices you use when making bolognese.
Pour into a pie dish and even out with the back of a spoon.

Top with your home made mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle grated cheese on top of your mash.

This is not the traditional way to do it, but I actually have a love affair with melted cheese, so I pile it on. 
You can omit this step if you are watching your waistline. I love cheese too much and am breastfeeding, so I feel no guilt. Life is meant to be lived, isn't it?

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for about 30 minutes or until your cheese is browned and the stew is bubbling out from the sides.

Serve with a green salad.

My children love this and I always go back to sneak in some more cheesy mash.

Bon apetit!


  1. Your chooks are so cute! :)
    This Vegetarian cottage pie sounds yummy! I am a recent Vegetarian too, and I am enjoying exploring the different variations of ingredients in recipes. There is much to try and fully eat whole heartedly. When did you become a Vegetarian?
    Your right 'Rachel eats' is a yummy site, with much to learn and be inspired by. Happy Summer.


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