10 August 2010

No Meat Zone Recipes: Vegan Date Night Vegetable Pasta


Date Night Pasta

While this is great as is, if you’re craving a meat stand-in, I think this pasta would be phenomenal with some cubed, smoked tofu as well.

  • 1/2 large onion, sliced thin in half-moon strips
  • 8 (yes, 8 ) cloves garlic, cut in quarters
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound (225 g.) button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, lightly drained (keep about 2 Tbsp./30 ml. of the liquid), halved
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) capers, with some juice
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml.) green and kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half
  • 1 roasted red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (120-180 ml.) grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml.) tomato sauce or juice (optional)
  • linguine, enough for 4 people, cooked until just al dente nutritional yeast, ground nuts (pine nuts are great for this), or chopped fresh parsley

While your pasta cooks, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the chunks of garlic begin to brown. Add the mushrooms, artichoke hearts, capers, and olives; lower heat, cover and simmer 5-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the mushrooms begin to give off a bit of liquid. Add the pepper, tomatoes, and tomato sauce, if using, and cover and simmer for 5 more minutes, until flavors have melded.

Drain the pasta about 2 minutes before it has reached perfect doneness (if you like it al dente, stop a couple of minutes before it reaches this texture). Drain the pasta and, while it’s still dripping, immediately toss it into the pot with the sauce ingredients. Toss to coat the pasta (there should still be some liquid in the bottom of the pot; if there isn’t, add about 1/4 cup water). Cover the pot and simmer 2 more minutes, stirring once or twice, until the pasta is perfectly cooked and has soaked up some of the liquid (it will also absorb some color from the sauce). Toss again and serve with a generous grinding of pepper and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, ground nuts, or chopped parsley. Serves 4.

Submitted by Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN-- Author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You'll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar.  Find Ricki posting delicious, healthy recipes on her blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogs or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Photo Credit: Ricki Heller