Hello there beautiful! Welcome to GSU special edition: Pasta Passion. We appreciate your interest in a more sustainable world and hope you enjoy this article and your future vegan pasta feast!
Served with sauce, in a soup, or just with olive oil, pasta–a simple mixture of flour and water–is one of the most popular foods in the world: penne, orzo, shells, farfalle, macaroni, spaghetti, tagliatelle, rotini, linguini, capellini…
Although regular pasta is rich in carbohydrates, it can make a filling, nutritious, and healthy meal when mixed with vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts. You can use whole grain pasta, which is high in fiber and has a much greater nutritional value than the regular refined flour pasta, or gluten free pasta, which is usually made out of quinoa, rice, corn, or potato flour. Pick a sauce and your favorite type of pasta and treat yourself with a comforting and delicious pasta dinner.
♦Pasta tastes even better when reheated the next day, so don’t be afraid of making some extra!
TIP: For a delicious and nutritious parmesan cheese alternative, try un-toasted or toasted sesame seed gomasio, packed with calcium, iron, magnesium and protein! In a blender or food processor, process 1 cup of sesame seeds and a teaspoon of sea salt and serve as parmesan cheese! You can also use flax seed. Store in a glass jar or air-tight container.
PASTA: To cook your pasta, follow the manufacturer’s instruction written on the package. Depending on your taste and the sauce you will serve your pasta with, you might want to cook the pasta ‘al dente’ (harder consistency), then mix it with the sauce in your sauce pan, cook for a few more minutes and serve. This way, the pasta will absorb some of the sauce and its flavor.
- Basil (3 ounces, washed and dried)
- Garlic (5 cloves)
- Walnuts or pine nuts (1 tbsp)
- Vegetable or canola oil
- Optional: blender or food processor.
- In a glass jar, add chopped garlic cloves, chopped basil, and smashed nuts. Mix well. Then fill the jar with enough oil to cover the mix, this way it will last longer in the fridge (keep your pesto cover with oil always).
Pesto is also good in sandwiches and pasta salads, combined with tomato sauce, as a pizza topping, and mixed in dips and fillings.
Note: to make parsley pesto, follow the same recipe but use fresh Italian parsley (or any parsley) instead of basil. You can also make a basil-parley pesto, is delicious!
BONUS: Avocado-Hemp Creamy Pesto, ideal for pasta salads!
Ingredients and Preparation: Use the same ingredients as the regular pesto but replace nuts with hemp seeds. Also, add one avocado and the juice of a lime. For this creamy pesto recipe, you can use olive oil. Blend with food processor and keep refrigerated.
Note: Do not cook the avocado pesto, it tastes better when is raw!
2. ‘Tuco’ (tomato sauce)
- 2 cans of tomato sauce
- Chili flakes, a bay leaf, salt, a pinch of sugar, paprika, and black pepper
- Optional: fresh basil
- Place a pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Heat some oil and sauté chili flakes, diced garlic, and diced onions. Let sizzle for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cans of tomato sauce, the bay leaf, salt, sugar and pepper and stir it all up. Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Tomato Sauce with Meatless Meatballs or Bolognese
- 1 box of veggie meatballs or 1 pack of meatless ground or ground sausage (LIGHTLIFE Gimme Lean, Yves, Morning Star Farms, TVP, or other)
- 2 cans of tomato sauce
- Chili flakes, salt, a pitch of sugar and pepper
- Place a pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Add some oil, chili flakes, diced garlic, and diced onions and let sizzle for a couple of minutes. Then add the meatballs or meatless ground.
- Once the meatballs or meatless crumbles start browning, add the can of tomato sauce, salt, sugar and pepper and stir it all up. Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
You can also use meatless wieners (Smart Dogs, Yves, or other). Slice 6 wieners into ½ inch pieces and add them to the tomato sauce 10 minutes before the sauce is ready.
- Minced garlic
- Diced onion
- Diced red bell pepper
- Diced tomato (or cherry tomatoes cut in halves)
- Diced eggplant
- Sliced zucchini
- Optional: sliced mushrooms and kale
- Salt, pepper, and chili flakes
- Garnish with chopped parsley
- Place a skillet or a pot on high heat and add some oil. Add chili flakes, minced garlic, and diced onions and let sizzle for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and saute for about five minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve on top of your choice of pasta and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
5. Chana Masala
- Olive oil
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 medium diced onion
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 2 can of diced tomatoes
- 2 cans of garbanzo beans
- 1 small lemon (juiced)
- Spices: paprika, cumin, curry, chill flakes, bay leaves (2), salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Fresh ginger and fresh cilantro
- Place a pot on medium heat and add some oil. Add chili flakes, garlic and onion and let sizzle for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, salt, sugar and spices to taste and stir it all up. Add chickpeas with their juice, turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add lemon juice, stir and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add fresh shredded or minced ginger to taste, serve over pasta or rice, and top with fresh cilantro and olive oil.
6. Sautéed Vegetables
- Olive oil
- Diced garlic
- Diced onion
- Chili flakes
- Choose from the following: bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, tomato, eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, kalamata olives or/and any combination of vegetables you prefer.
- Place a frying pan on medium heat and add some oil. Add chili flakes, diced garlic, and diced onions and let sizzle for a couple of minutes.
- Add the diced vegetables of your choice starting with the hardest ones and ending with the softer ones, for example in this order: carrot, potato, bell pepper, eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach.
- Sautéed for a few minutes, cover with a lid and cook until all the vegetables are slightly tender. Mix with pasta of your choice and serve with olive oil and fresh ground pepper.
NOTE: Another way to cook your veggies and get the most out of them is to sauté them with only a little bit of water on a very hot non-stick pan or wok for a very short time! You will get colorful, fresh and tender veggies full of nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals.
7. Béchamel Sauce
- 1/4 cup of corn starch
- 2 cups of rice milk
- 1 tbsp of oil
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
–> Serve you pasta with béchamel sauce and sautéed vegetables–follow the instructions for the sautéed vegetables above.
–> Serve your béchamel pasta with tomato sauce or bolognese.
You can cook the béchamel sauce in a pot on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave.
- In a pot or microwave safe bowl, mix the corn starch with a little bit of water until you get a uniform paste (without lumps).
- Add the rice milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg, mix well, and start cooking on medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid lumps from forming and to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot or bowl (if microwaving, pause and stir every 45-60”).
- Once the sauce starts thickening, turn heat to low and stir more frequently. If necessary, you can use a whisk or a food processor to get rid of the lumps. Once you obtain a creamy thick sauce remove from heat and mix the Béchamel with the vegetables.
- Serve over pasta of your choice.
For vegetable-pasta soup, visit the Vegetable Soup page!
For the tofu and potato gnocchi, spinach malfatti, and beet ravioli recipe, visit the following page: Soups, Stews, and Pastas.