This vegan red pepper pasta is a vitamin-loaded dish. It's healthy, full of protein, and incredibly creamy. We added chickpeas and spinach for a variety of nutrients and flavour. The Pasta is ready in 25 minutes, so it is perfect for a busy schedule as a weeknight dinner.
Vegan Red Pepper Pasta
- 550 grams red pepper bell or snack pepper
- 150 grams cherry tomatoes plum or cherry
- 150 grams spinach
- 150 grams canned chickpeas
- 1 whole red onion
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 160 grams uncooked fusilli pasta, or penne durum wheat or whole grain
- 1 tbsp sea salt coarse
- 10 leaves fresh basil
- 50 grams chili-lemon fake parmesan
Prep the ingredients | Mise en place
- Cut open the red peppers, remove seeds, stem and the white fibre from the inside. Chop them into chunks and set aside.
- Cut the red onion into thin slices.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Also, drain the canned chickpea and prep all your other ingredients next to your station.
- On a non-stick pan or stainless steel pan, dry-fry the onion on low heat until it turns light brown
- Add the red peppers and let them sweat for about 5 minutes. Stir often.
- Add the tomatoes and season with chili flakes and salt. Stir well.
- Cover with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the peppers are soft. Add a few spoons of water occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Keep the water to a minimum as we don't want to dilute the flavour of the veggies.
- When the peppers are soft, start cooking the pasta in salted boiling water. Cook the pasta as instructed on the package minus 1 minute.
- While the pasta cooks, blend together the peppers and the tomatoes until you have a very smooth sauce.
- Transfer the sauce into a non-stick pan, add the chickpeas and stir well.
- Add spinach to the sauce while stirring. Let the spinach soften.
- Once the pasta has cooked, transfer it onto the sauce. Remember to save at least 1 cup of pasta water.
- Add some vegan parmesan and ½ cup of pasta water and stir everything together on low-medium heat for 1 minute. Add more pasta water to make the sauce extra creamy.
- Plate and garnish with some fresh basil leaves, some extra vegan parmesan, and a few drops of olive oil (optional).
TIP 1: Boost your immune system. Did you know that one bell peppers contains up to 3 times as much C vitamin of an orange? Blending them in a pasta dish is a perfect excuse to gorge on this beautiful, healthy and delicious vegetable.
TIP 2: Reduce caloric load by reducing added oils. One tablespoon of oil has 120 calories and it will make your meals over-caloric without you realizing it. Treat oils like refined sugar. Use it sparingly.
How to dry-fry: For this pasta we dry-fry our onion without any oil or water. Onions contain oils that will come with low heat and will allow you to brown the onion without adding oil or water. This will give you maximum flavour and minimum calories. If you need to add some water, do so in very small amounts at a time. Too much water will dilute the flavour of the vegetables.
TIP 3: Creamy sauce: The trick to extra creamy pasta is to add pasta water while sautéing the pasta in a pan with the sauce. You can add as much as 1 full cup of pasta water, so make sure you save some before draining the pasta. For a salty and tasty finish, you can top the pasta with a homemade chili-lemon parmesan cheese.
TIP 4: Eat your protein, but from veggies. Did you know that consumption of animal-based protein is linked to several modern diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, etc? Eat protein that comes from grains and legumes instead.
Nutrition: When we combine the protein from the durum wheat in the pasta and the chickpeas, this meal has a complete protein profile with all essential amino acids.
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Will you be making this vegan red pepper pasta at home? If you have any tips or questions, we would love to hear from you in our comment section below.