Vegan red pepper pasta

Vegan red pepper pasta

vegan red pepper pasta portion

This vegan red pepper pasta will always remind me of Greece. When we first moved here we used to live on a slight variation of this dish as I was smitten with the local combination of red peppers and feta. When we stopped buying dairy I had to come up with other pasta options…

Living on a small Greek island, there was no way I was able to get my hands on any vegan cheese (let alone feta) so the recipe fell from grace. Then, the other day, I had some leftover ricotta (I simplified the recipe actually, you no longer need to use agar to make it – check it out HERE) and I dotted it over a simple cherry tomato pasta we were having for dinner. It was really delicious and it made me think that I should attempt a vegan version of my old favourite.

Even though my cashew ricotta is certainly not a feta replacement as it’s much softer, it still has a nice tang and umami flavour, which works so well against sweet red peppers. I jazzed the dish up a bit with some Kalamata olives for added ‘Greekness’ and fresh baby spinach that my next door neighbour grew in her garden and encouraged me to help myself to some, which I did (thank you Evi! It was great!! 🙂 ).

I realise that those of you who live in big, vibrant cities have a mean selection of vegan cheeses at your fingertips so if you can find vegan feta, it would work really well here. If you are less fortunate though, try my ricotta. It really works a treat.

I’m bringing this dish back to my weekly meal rotation, for sure, especially that it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. A W-I-N-N-E-R of a dinner or what?! 🙂

vegan-red-pepper-pasta-process

vegan red pepper pasta pan

vegan red pepper pasta close

vegan red pepper pasta sideview

vegan red pepper pasta ingredients macro

serves
2-3
PREP
5 min
COOKING
10 min
serves
2-3
PREPARATION
5 min
COOKING
10 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, diced finely
  • 1-2 tsp sambal oelek (Indonesian chilli paste) or fresh chilli, finely diced
  • 200 g / 7 oz wholewheat penne (use GF if you are gluten-intolerant)
  • 200 g / 7 oz roasted red peppers*
  • 50 g / 2 oz baby spinach
  • 8 black Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1 heaped tbsp pine nuts
  • ¼ cup my vegan ricotta or store-bought vegan feta cheese
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mild chilli flakes (I used Turkish pul biber), to serve (optional)
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast, to serve (optional)
METHOD
  1. Put your pasta on to boil. Cook it for 1 minute less than you would normally.
  2. Put a small frying pan on a medium-high heat and dry roast pine nuts until browned and fragrant. Make sure you shake the pan regularly as they burn easily.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan on a low-medium heat. Add finely diced garlic and chilli (if using fresh). Fry, stirring the whole time, on a low heat until garlic becomes soft and fragrant.
  4. Add a teaspoon of sambal oelek (skip if you added fresh chilli instead) and mix it around well. Add sliced red peppers and stir them around so that they warm up.
  5. Add drained pasta, baby spinach and olives. Stir around well so that the pasta gets coated in the pepper and garlic mixture. Allow the spinach to wilt in the hot pan and pasta to finish cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide the pasta between two bowls, dot with small amounts of vegan ricotta (if you are using a sturdier cheese, like vegan feta, you can mix it into the pasta directly before plating).
  7. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts, generous amount of fresh parsley, mild chilli flakes and nutritional yeast (if using).

NOTES
*I used store bought roasted peppers but you can also roast your own, here is how.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
477
24%
sugars
4 g
5%
fats
23 g
33%
saturates
4 g
21%
proteins
12 g
24%
carbs
59 g
23%
*per serving
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4.8
5 reviews, 9 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Kelly:
I am really surprised at the amount of flavor in this pasta! Such clean and simple ingredients make me fell less guilty about eating it too! I will keep this on my list of easy and fast dinners!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, Kelly! Thanks! Ania
Carolyn Gillis:
This is absolutely the best pasta dish I have ever made. I love the addition of the sambal oelek and pine nuts. Genius! I make my own ricotta very similar to yours. Thank-you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Carolyn! I am really glad you enjoyed it! Ania
Michelle Graham:
This recipe is a gem! I make this dish about every other week. I put extra sambal olek /pepper flakes because I like it extra spicy. I’ve even made it for guests who are huge carnivores and they loved it as well. I will omit the cheese, if I want it vegan (or use real feta) but either way it still so flavorful and yummy. Keep up the amazing work you do!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, Michelle! That is so lovely to hear! Ania
Yasmin Van:
Oh my goodness!!! I just came across this recipe on Saturday and made this minus the chillis and pine nuts last night. I made a whole box of pasta and it's gone!!!! I'm lucky I had some when I did... This is definitely going into my meal rotation. THANK YOU!!!! And the cheese, <3 <3 <3 I made extra cheese luckily cause that's almost gone too!!! I also used the cheese on a sandwich today, heavenly!!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much for such a lovely comment, Yasmin! I'm so happy you enjoyed both of these recipes! :) Ania
Jill:
Could this be made without vegan cheese and nutritional yeast? This looks so good but I'm allergic to nooch and I don't fancy vegan cheese :/
Thanks in advance!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jill,
    Yes, of course you can, it will change the overall flavour a little bit but peppers, garlic, chilli and olives on their own will provide lots of flavour too.
    Ania
Avon Kleinman aka DoggoneVegan:
Hi Ania,
Your pics are always great but these pasta pics are exceptional. So sharp and colourful. You are an inspiration!
I've made a similiar meal myself before (I love Greek food) but you've just reminded me how absolutely scrumptious this recipe is. I'll definitely be making it again soon. Thank you very very much.
All the best for 2017 and keep up your fabulous work!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Avon,
    Thank you so much for following my blog and for your kind words, that means so much!! Wishing you all the best for 2017 also! Ania
Sarah | Well and Full:
Oh my gosh, this red pepper pasta look absolutely AMAZING!! I would probably eat all of it in one sitting, I love pasta that much!! ;)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw thanks, Sarah! Me too, I'm a pasta addict big time, but this one is not as sinful as it seems - practically a health food ;)
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