The McCartney’s Meat Free Monday. In 2009, Paul, Stella & Mary McCartney launched the Meat Free Monday campaign, aimed at encouraging people to make planet and health-friendly food choices. We share a meat-free recipe from their top-selling cookbook.
The McCartneys has always had an interest in sustainable food – from Paul’s organic farm, to Linda’s vegetarian food range. The launch of their Meat Free Monday campaign in 2009 was the natural next step in living out this ethos.
Interested in the link between meat, the environment, and climate change, Meat Free Monday touches on the importance of making planet-friendly food choices, every day.
According to McCartney’s findings, up to 18 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to meat and livestock production, caused by the dramatic increase in the amount of meat that people are eating over the past 50 years. The main culprits are carbon dioxide and methane, caused by manure pits and ‘enteric fermentation’, or, put simply, burping and farting by cows, sheep, and goats. As well as GHG (greenhouse gases), large amounts of water are also being consumed to sustain the industry.
The Meat Free Monday campaign encourages people to decrease their meat eating to include at least one meat-free day per week – not only to help the planet, but also to profit our health and budget. Through their cookbook, the McCartney’s want to re-educate and inspire the world about vegetarian cooking. Below is their recipe for Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta, taken from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook.
Meat Free Monday: Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta
Sicily was ruled by Arabs in the 10th and 11th centuries and their culinary legacy lives on… in the use of ingredients like saffron, raisins and pine nuts in the island’s cooking. Here all three are combined with the humble cauliflower to create a memorable pasta dish.
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1 bay leaf
400g wholewheat mafalda corta
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 rounded tbsp freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
Freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan, to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of saffron threads
1 small-medium cauliflower, chopped into small florets
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
A pinch of crushed dried chilli
50g pine nuts
Soak the saffron threads in 2 tbsp boiling water and set aside.
Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 4 minutes until tender. Scoop the cauliflower out of the pan, drain and set aside, and reserve the water. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat until tender but not coloured. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute.
Add the raisins and pine nuts to the pan and continue to cook until the pine nuts are toasted and lightly golden. Add the cauliflower, steeped saffron, sun-dried tomato paste, and bay leaf to the pan along with 150ml of the cauliflower cooking water. Season and cook over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, lightly mashing the cauliflower with the back of a wooden spoon to make a sauce and adding more water if necessary if it starts to look dry.
Meanwhile, cook the malfalda corta in the cauliflower water according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cupful of the water and tip the pasta into the sauté pan with the cauliflower sauce. Add the lemon juice, chopped parsley and stir to combine. Add some of the reserved water if needed. Serve with lots of freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan.