Vegan Pasta Dishes Recipes: The Italian Side Of Me!
Yes, I was born in Italy, and yes I spent my younger life watching my grandmother making pasta and tortellini and fettuccine, with her own hand, at home, loving every minute of it. Pasta is probably one of my favorite dishes (together with Thai Food, I know the combination is truly strange but so this is me!) and today I would like to honor my grandma, “la nonna Nena” like we used to call her when we were little . I would like to share with you some of my favorite Vegan pasta dishes recipes that I learned from her and that I have later on adapted to a Vegan cuisine.
Let me start with Eggplants: I love eggplants! Whether alone, stir fry, in the oven, baked or with pasta eggplants are one delicious vegetables full of taste and so nutritious!
Pasta with eggplant in a spicy sauce
Eggplants are a particular flavor of the Mediterranean area and cooked with some pasta and some spicy chili they make a great and healthy dish since they are also very low in calories. If you use some whole grain pasta even better when you are trying to control the carbohydrates intake.
Ingredients For 4 people:
- 360 g of pasta of your choice, you can use macaroni or fusilli or penne
- 2 eggplants
- 3 hot chili peppers
- 1/2 can of Chopped tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons bread crumbs
- Salt to taste
- Vegan Grated Cheese (Optional)
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Put the breadcrumbs in a pan and toast them lightly
Remove it as soon as they get that golden color, add a tablespoon of oil and mix well.
In another pan, add a little oil and add the chilies cut into small pieces.
When they begin to sauté, add the tomatoes and the eggplants that you have previously chopped in medium size pieces. Put salt and other herbs and cook them over low heat with the lid on until soft. You can add a little bit of water as they are cooking just making sure that the eggplants do not dry up
In another pot you have put the pasta to cook, approximately for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on the type of pasta you selected)
Once the pasta is cooked add it to the eggplants and mix everything well.
Serve with a few spoons of breadcrumbs on top or some Vegan Grated Cheeze.. To make the bread crumbs taste richer, once roasted, mix it with a little garlic powder, parsley and nutritional yeast flakes. Decorate the dish with a small leaf of basil and Buon Appetito!
With a little fantasy, the result was a simple and delicious dish. Eating vegan is easy and anything but boring.
And now let’s move down to another very typical Italian dish, the pasta with pesto.
Nowadays you can buy ready made Pesto basically everywhere, buy grandma Nena used to do it herself and it tastes ten times better than the one you can find in the shop.
Today, to prepare pesto it is even easier than back then since grandma did not have a blender to help her out so there are literally no excuse for not trying to do it at home by yourself.
Vegan Pasta with Pesto Summer Style
Pesto is the basil-based Italian sauce known throughout the world. It has thousands of uses in cooking and is delicious both hot and cold, and since we are getting closer to the summer I would love to share with you the Summer version of this pasta salad which is great to take on the beach in a Tupperware or to serve on a Sunday lunch sitting in the garden enjoying the cool breeze.
Ingredients For 4 people
- 360 g of penne or Spaghetti, Fusilli
- 60 g of fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 spoonful of nutritional yeast in (beers) in flakes
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 8 tablespoons of hot water
- Fresh garlic or powder
As for the Sicilian red pesto, the secret to preparing a perfect green pesto sauce is in the use of nutritional yeast and hot water.
The yeast, in the case of vegans, replaces the Parmesan and the Italian pecorino and gives it a good cheese flavour.
The cooking water of the pasta, rich in starch, helps us to bind the ingredients for a sauce of perfect texture but with less oil and fats.
To prepare the pesto we wash the basil and put all the ingredients in the blender.
Add a few tablespoons of the water taking it from where the pasta is cooking.
Grind it well until you get a cream without lumps. And it’s all done! yes. It probably takes you 5 minutes if not even less, this is how easy it is to prepare a vegan pesto.
Once the sauce is done all you have to do is mix it with the pasta that, by now, should be cooked and ready to be eaten. My favorite pasta are the fusilli, I think they are the ideal choice when you are mixing it with the Pesto cause the sauce really gets absorbed all around the Pasta and it just feel great when you put it in your mouth.
Said that though, you can use again whatever pasta you prefer.
If you want to make a raw vegan basil sauce it is best if you use cold water
If you prefer fresh garlic, remove the germ to make it more digestible and if what you are after is a cheaper vegan pesto, you can, without altering its flavour, replace a spoonful of pine nuts with one of raw almonds without skin.
Keep it simple. That’s the number one and only secret, that’s what grandma used to say, and always use extra virgin olive oil , and no other type of oil or the flavor will never be the same.
If you are in a rush or can’t be bothered with preparing your own pesto, one of the best and Organic Pesto I have found online and also of an excellent price is the Vegan Basil Pesto by Tideford which is sold by the Vegan Shop online.
So this is it for me today, I hope you will enjoy your pasta and don’t forget to share with me if you have any other versions of pesto or any other vegan Pasta recipe you love.
Till the next time
May you all have a blessed day