Pasta. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—it really doesn’t have much going for it. I mean come on. Whoever thought something made from just white flour and eggs would be good for you? Here in America, we’ve been dishing up plate LOADS of dense pasta for years and years … and, sorry, but a whole heck of a lot of Americans are overweight and yes, I blame pasta. OK. There’s a few other things to blame too but as far as food goes, pasta isn’t exactly nutritionally amazing. Listen, I admit, I used to be a card-carrying member of the “let’s eat pasta all the time” club. I was a college athlete, a runner at that, and I did my fair share of carbo loading. Heck, I even remember one time being on a long (like stupid long, think hundreds of miles shared between a few “friends”) relay run and thinking plain white flour pasta was THE thing I should be eating in between legs. D. U. M. B. But hey, people used to think smoking was good for them too, so there’s that.
But, pasta can be a good thing. When topped with the right ingredients I’d even go so far as to say that yes, even white flour pasta is OK. But here in the States, with the all-you-can-eat mentality and such, it’s far more likely you’re going to spot people overeating the pasta part than any kind of nutritious topping. So, why not try something different. Like a plant-based pasta??
My favorite is House Foods Tofu Shirataki (which I write about here) but I’ve been trying a few others and recently, I made Taste Republic’s gluten free cauliflower linguine and topped it with roasted vegetables akin to a caponata. And it was delicious. Given, I LOVE caponata, but the pasta itself is hearty and can handle a thick topping. Bonus, I made extra sauce, froze it and then used it in a calzone and in a lasagna. I know. I know. I am soooo resourceful! Anyway, give this a try and let me know what you think. FYI, it was a winner winner with both GG and the teenage boy so there’s that. Chef’s kiss : )
Cauliflower Linguine with Roasted Veggies
- 4-5 TBS Olive oil
- 1 Eggplant, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 Zucchini, ditto
- 1 Red pepper, ditto
- 5 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 Onion, chopped
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
- 2-3 Fresh tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup Basil
- 3-4 TBS Pine nuts
Cut all the veggies (eggplant, zucchini, red peppers into equal size pieces and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly dust with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, warm 2-3 TBS olive oil in Dutch oven and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add olives and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes turning frequently. Once vegetables are done roasting, add them to the Dutch oven with the chopped basil and pine nuts and allow it to continue cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes, covered. Cook pasta as directed, note it only takes about 3 minutes … measure ½ cup pasta into large serving bowls and add a generous amount of topping, a little drizzle of olive oil if you desire and some more basil for garnish. Vegan Parmesan is also a great topper. And that’s it. Bonus, the empty calories you saved by not eating too much pasta allows for a hunk of French bread which you will undoubtedly need for soaking up all the goodness of those roasted veggies. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )