Vegetables are the Stars of the Show at Carluccio’s this Autumn

With the number of vegans in Britain having risen by more than 360% in the past decade and with around one in every 118 people giving up meat*, it’s safe to say going meat-free is no longer a niche diet for the conscientious few.

Carluccio’s new Autumn Winter menu has been created in response to the ever-growing demand for more vegetarian and vegan choices and reflects this shift to a more flexitarian approach to dining.

The menu, created by the Godfather of Italian food, Antonio Carluccio, in collaboration with food blogger and writer, Anna Barnett, throws a well-deserved spotlight on vegetables.

Boasting one of the largest selections of vegan and vegetarian dishes of any nationwide restaurant group, new signature dishes are packed with flavour and designed to appeal to all; from those following an exclusively plant-based diet to the staunchest of meat-eaters. No longer just humble sides, vegetables are now the main event in many of Carluccio’s new dishes.

Suitable for vegans, choices include crostini al funghi, sautéed mushrooms and kale in garlic and chilli on toasted ciabatta; the traditional Puglian dish, with a vegan twist, of polpette di pane featuring meatless bread balls of semi-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers and rustica olives in a tomato sauce on spaghetti and orecchiette al cavoflore with cauliflower purée, sautéed kale, chilli and roasted turmeric cauliflower florets. Other vegetarian choices, all of which can be adapted for vegan diets, include the vibrant zucca con verdure arrostite – roasted butternut squash and vegetables with pine nuts (served with or without goat’s cheese) and garlic herb breadcrumbs and pasta e fagioli, a traditional thick soup of pasta, borlotti beans and tomatoes from northern Italy.

Simply too good to every take off the menu are Carluccio’s signature vegetable dishes of penne giardiniera, giant Pugliese penne with crispy spinach balls; Antonio’s famous mushroom risotto with a hint of chilli and truffle oil as well as a fabulous sharing verdure board laden with roasted peppers with garlic, tomato and onion, poponcini peppers with pesto, red onion marmalade with goat’s cheese bruschetta, marinated artichokes, balsamic onions, caponata, mint & garlic marinated green beans, mixed olives, caper berries and homemade focaccia.

Antonio Carluccio comments: “Vegetables are very important in Italian food culture and are often the stars of the show, it’s not uncommon for dishes to be exclusively plant-based. Our new Autumn Winter menu has been designed to celebrate the humble vegetable; from kale and cauliflower to borlotti beans and butternut squash.”

Anna Barnett adds: “My husband is vegetarian, when we got together his diet wasn’t especially interesting so I began to create different meat-free recipes to show him how exciting and varied plant-based meals could be. I’m now on a mission to get everybody to eat less meat which is why working with Antonio (my foodie crush) on a range of dishes that would go into 100+ Carluccio’s restaurants up and down the country was too good an opportunity to miss.”

Whilst the new menu puts a spotlight on veg, there are plenty of plates featuring impeccably sourced meat, fish and seafood. New dishes include mussels with short toasted Sardinian pasta served in a saffron sauce, pan-fried cod fillet with salsa verde, and a venison tortelloni.

Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian – celebrate the joy of vegetables with Carluccio’s new Autumn/Winter menu. Buon appetito!

* From a poll of almost 10,000 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, May 2016.

Issued on behalf of Carluccio’s on Monday 9th October 2017.

Mermaid Quay, Cardiff, CF10 5BZ | Tel: 029 2046 0201

The Library, 16 Mill Lane, Cardiff, CF10 1FL.  T: 02920 232 630

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