These Plant-Based Pasta Recipes Are Perfect For Summer

We love this vegan ragù and a pistachio and mint pesto pasta inspired by Sicily.
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From rigatoni and ravioli to pappardelle and bucatini, there’s a science to pasta. It’s important to pair pasta shapes with the right sauces to ensure the flavor is perfectly distributed around each noodle. These plant-based summer pasta recipes pair the right shape with the right sauce, guaranteeing that each bite is as flavorful as possible.

At Emilia’s Crafted Pasta, a fresh pasta restaurant with three locations in Central London, we love soul-warming comfort food, and we take our pasta pairings seriously. Everything we do revolves around the essence of Italian cuisine: fresh pasta, quality ingredients and simple recipes. Our pasta is freshly made every morning with respect for the tradition and techniques passed down by generations of cooks who taught us our craft.

Here are two of our favorite summer pasta recipes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients: a Pistacchio and Mint Pesto Pasta, and a Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Ragù Pasta.

Pistachio and Mint Pesto Pasta Recipe

The combination of sweet pistachios together with bright mint and tangy parmesan creates a well-balanced taste that is fresh, but not too heavy. This pesto sauce marries perfectly with trofie or casarecce and should be enjoyed with a large glass of Sicilian Malvasia white wine.

Ingredients: (serves 4 people)

  • 150g of Sicilian shelled pistachios
  • 50g of mint
  • 80g of parmesan
  • 250-300ml of water
  • 320g of durum wheat casarecce (dried pasta)
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • A handful of pistachios to decorate the finished dishes

Preparation

  1. Start by preparing the pesto. Rinse the mint leaves and take the leaves off the stems.
  2. Then blend the water, mint leaves and pistachios together briefly.
  3. Add the parmesan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and continue blending until you have the perfect texture. Don’t blend it for too long making sure the pesto is not totally liquid, nor solid – somewhere in the middle is perfect texture.
  4. When the pesto is ready, boil the pasta in well-salted water until it is al dente, then drain.
  5. Put the pasta in a mixing bowl together with the pesto (adding a tablespoon of boiled pasta water into the mixing bowl for an enhanced taste) and mix thoroughly.
  6. Decorate each dish with a touch of finely grated parmesan, some crushed pistachios and a tablespoon of finely chopped mint.

Note: If you have any leftover pesto you can use it with bread to make crostini! Serve them at your next apericena or Italian dinner party.

Lentil and Vegetable Ragù Pasta Recipe

A vegan twist on the classic Italian Bolognese, this lentil and vegetable ragù is one of our favorite summer pasta recipes. Rich in protein, lentils are a great alternative to meat, making them a perfect vegan substitute in ragù that traditionally feature minced meat. In this vegan ragù, brown lentils are stewed with other vegetables to create a hearty, colorful and comforting pasta dish. Add some fresh peppers and cherry tomatoes on top to complement the softer textures in the sauce.

Ingredients: (serves 5 people)

Preparation time: 30-40 minutes

  • 625g dried rigatoni or similar shape
  • Homemade tomato sauce (800g)
  • Pasta water (approx. 500ml)
  • Diced eggplant (150g)
  • Brown Lentils (150g)
  • Cherry tomatoes (10 tomatoes)
  • Bell pepper (50g)
  • White onions (100g)
  • Celery (100g)
  • Carrots (100g)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Parsley (bunch)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh chillies or cayenne pepper
  • Dried oregano

Preparation

  1. Prepare the vegetables: peel the eggplants and cut into 1cm cubes, dice the onions, chop the carrots and celery into small cubes, chop parsley.
  2. Bring a big pan of water to boil and salt generously.
  3. In a second pan, add two garlic cloves to olive oil and gently sauté with the onions, carrots and celery together for 5-10 minutes until golden.
  4. Add half of your boiling water into the pan of vegetables, followed by the eggplant and lentils. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook on high heat for 10-15 minutes until there is little to no water left and the vegetables are cooked through.
  6. Add your tomato sauce, dried oregano, a few shakes of the cayenne pepper and cook for another few minutes until the mixture thickens and all flavors have mixed properly. Lower the heat and let cook slowly.
  7. Add the pasta into the other pan with salted boiling water and cook until nearly al dente. It’s important to take the pasta out before it is al dente because the pasta should finish cooking itself in the sauce.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to transfer your rigatoni pasta into the pan with the sauce. Add some pasta water and boil everything together for a few minutes, until the pasta is thoroughly cooked but still chewy.
  9. Garnish each dish with cherry tomatoes, sliced peppers, parsley and black pepper.

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