Hearty Pasta Dishes

Penne alla Vodka with Fresh Tomatoes

Vegan Penne alla Vodka

It doesn’t take a lot to veganize the classic Italian-American recipe for penne alla vodka — simply replace the heavy cream that’s traditionally used in the recipe with nondairy milk or creamer. Most often, recipes for this dish call for canned tomatoes, but this one relies on fresh tomatoes, making it an appealing and easy meal for summer. Serve with a colorful salad and a steamed green veggie — broccoli or green beans are particularly good. Photos by Evan Atlas.

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Pasta Primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera

Though this plant-based Pasta Primavera uses only a half-pound of pasta, it’s so chockfull of vegetables that it makes quite a heaping helping. You can serve it any time of year, but it’s an especially nice way to welcome spring, as its name implies. It’s also a pleasing main dish at spring holiday or special occasion meals, such as Easter or Mother’s Day. Serve with a simple salad of fresh greens.

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Kasha Varnitchkes

Kasha Varnitchkes

Kasha Varnitchkes is a classic Jewish dish of buckwheat groats combined with pasta. I’m not sure that bow tie pasta (farfalle) has always been the traditional choice, but it’s the contemporary favorite. If you’re a kasha fan, you’ll enjoy this simple dish; it doesn’t set of any flavor fireworks, but it’s easy and comforting, like many an Eastern European specialty. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Pasta alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma recipe

Pasta alla Norma is one of those great classic Italian recipes that’s simple and healthy. Its basic embellishments are eggplant, onion, garlic, and basil. It’s quick, too — in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, the sauce is started and finished. Be generous with the red pepper flakes if you like a little spice to your pasta dishes— they really give the flavor a boost. Serve with a colorful salad to which chickpeas are added for extra protein. more→

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Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce

Pasta with hearty spinach and lentil sauce

This recipe, satisfying combination of pasta, lentils, and spinach (or other greens) is a longtime family favorite. Easy and substantial, this can easily become your go-to plant-powered pasta dish. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.   more→

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Mom’s Meatless Meatballs

Mum Mums Vegan Meatballs by Christina Cavanaugh from Begin Within Nutrition

My mom created the most delicious vegan meatballs! I almost spit out the first bite I took because I thought she was playing a horribly mean joke on me, they tasted so meaty! The original recipe uses eggs and parmesan cheese. To veganize the recipe we used a “chia egg” instead and omitted the cheese. To make them gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free pasta.  You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own. This recipe is a bit involved, as you need to prepare the ingredients and let them sit over night.  It’s worth the wait…trust meRecipe and photos contributed by Cristina Cavanaugh, from Begin Within Nutrition. 

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Roasted Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Sweet potato vegan mac n cheese1

This mac and cheese is 100% vegan and so healthy! The ‘cheese’ in this recipe is a combination of roasted sweet potato, mustard, and nutritional yeast. The result is a nostalgic mac and cheese with a grown up edge and a rich, creamy, and satisfying dish! This recipe utilizes gluten-free pasta, but if that’s not a concern for you, any whole-grain short chunky shaped pasta will work. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils. more→

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Vegan Beanballs (for serving on pasta with marinara sauce)

Vegan beanballs and spaghetti

Made of beans, oatmeal (or quinoa flakes) and walnuts, there’s nothing “fake meat” about these beanballs. They’re super easy to make, too — basically you just throw everything into the food processor. While they’re baking, cook up your favorite kind of pasta. Once it’s done, add the kind of marinara sauce you like best — homemade Classic Marinara Sauce, or or your favorite natural purchased brand. Serve with a colorful salad, and, if you’d like, roast some broccoli and/or cauliflower in the oven at the same time that the beanballs are baking. Tip: set aside some of the marinara to spoon over the beanballs, once you arrange them atop the pasta. more→

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