Imagine the warm, inviting scent of peppery garlic marinating with fresh, tangy basil, rich olive oil, and the freshest vegetables of the season.
This isn’t a fancy Italian restaurant, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg! You can make an intensely delicious and most amazingly nutritious meal in the comfort of your own kitchen with whichever vegetables you like best, whichever sales you find (manager’s specials!), or whatever you happen to have in your kitchen.
Masupa’s Favorite Pasta is a real crowd-pleaser, and your guests will start to request it all the time. I know mine do, and most of them eat meat!
- 16 oz. box/bag Penne Rigate, Farfalle (Bowtie), Shells, or any pasta you desire
- 2 Freshly Ripened Vine Tomatoes
- 2 Cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
- 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Fresh Carrots
- 1 Large Zucchini
- 1/2 Cob Fresh Corn (Slice kernels off cob) (Optional)
- 1/2 Bunch Fresh Asparagus (Freshly Peeled)
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Sliced Mushrooms (Optional)
- 2 Cups Uncooked Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 Large Red Pepper (Roast it on an open flame, such as a gas stove)
- 1 Large Green Bell Pepper (Optional)
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Shelled Peas (Optional)
- 4 Large Cloves Garlic (Freshly smashed and diced)
- 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Freshly Sliced Kalamata Olives
- 1/4 Cup Diced Sundried Tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs. Vegan Margarine (if desired)
- 3-4 Leaves of Fresh Basil
- 1 Tbs. Oregano
- 1 Tsp. Thyme
- 1 Tsp – 1 Tbs. Red Chili Flakes (if you desire a spicy dish)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese (Garnish)
Begin by boiling pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, place your red pepper over an open flame. I use the flame from my gas stove. Frequently turn the pepper so that it roasts evenly. This will take roughly 10 minutes, at which point you will allow the pepper to cool before removing the charred layer by hand. Resist the urge to rinse the roasted red pepper with water, as this will wash away the great flavor you have created.
Now smash and dice your fresh garlic for best results. If you are in a big rush, a jar of chopped garlic will taste good, but not nearly as good.
Chop the vegetables into 1 inch (bite-sized) pieces. Feel free to add any of your favorite vegetables to the mix, such as onions, squash, green beans, potatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, or anything else you can imagine. This one recipe can become an unlimited amount of dishes!
Steam the vegetables (all but the tomatoes, corn and spinach) for 2-3 minutes. This can be done by wrapping the vegetables in wet paper towels and microwaving if necessary.
Now toast the pine nuts by frequently shaking them in a small pan over low heat until golden brown. Set aside.
Heat half the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large skillet on Low. Add your freshly chopped garlic and brown by stirring with a wooden spoon for another 2-3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and corn, a dash of salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Turn the heat to low and add the baby spinach. Sauté lightly, just enough to wilt, adding another dash of salt. Set aside.
Turn heat up to Medium-High and add the tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to cook down slightly, then add the freshly steamed vegetables.
Season with freshly chopped Basil, and dried Oregano, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, and Red Chili Flakes if desired (be careful of spice– adjust to your guests’ tastes).
Turn heat down to a touch below Medium.
Drain the pasta, but set 1/2 cup of the water aside. Add the pasta to your skillet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Add pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Toss well.
Taste and season more as you like! Cook for about 3 minutes, adding pasta water slowly when needed to keep heat down and pasta cohesive.
Add vegan margarine if desired and toss for another minute or so. Tasting will be key as cooking times may vary. Garnish with vegan parmesan cheese!
Serve hot and enjoy wowing your guests with an outstanding homemade meal made without harming any animals! Non-vegetarians will love it as much if not more than your vegan guests!
And remember, aside from being free of animal ingredients, this dish is also great due to the fact that you may add or subtract any ingredients you like.
If you have a different set of vegetables you would like to try, go for it! Soy chicken and shrimp are also fantastic in this dish!
Be creative and have fun!