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Vegetarian one-dish pasta meals - new ideas?

I often make quick one-dish meals that involve pasta...I often make meat sauces, or use chicken sausage, but I only have one vegetarian recipe that I regularly use.

I chop up a bunch of garlic (sometimes also onions or shallots), and saute in olive oil. Then add a can of white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), a bit of white wine, maybe a bit of tomato if I happen to have it, some herbs (basil, thyme), and then toward the end of cooking, I add some spinach or chard. I mix all of this up and serve it over pasta, with some grated Parmesan cheese.

I like this dish because it's super fast, has protein/veggies/pasta, and I can serve it to my Vegetarian friends. But I'd like some other ideas --- variations on this recipe, or other easy recipe ideas for vegetarian pastas.

Thanks in advance!
Dave MP

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  1. Great thread! Cannellini beans are one of my very favorite ingredients.

    This is wonderful:
    http://www.marthastewart.com/318796/b...

    I also love something called beanie-greenie I found here on the Chow board. I hope this link works. It's a staple for us in the winter. You can serve it over pasta as well as rice (I often keep frozen brown rice around for super fast meals---I know, but you gotta do what you gotta do).

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6813...

    1. I don't eat pasta any more, but I used to make a couple of great no cook sauces with ricotta cheese as the base. One involved just whirring a small container of it with garlic cloves, olive oil, a small jar of roasted red peppers, salt and pepper. The other one had chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, fresh chopped parsley and basil. Maybe some kalamata olives, s and p. Just add the hot pasta and mix. Ricotta has 28gms protein per cup, using whole milk variety.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mcf

        Those sauces, like pesto, sound tasty but aren't the one-dish pasta meal recipes requested, unless you meant that the OP was to add the beans and greens as he describes doing in the recipe he already employs.

        I recommend the CHOW recipe for Red Pepper and Eggplant Tomato sauce. I julienne both the bell pepper and the eggplant with a mandoline. This adds to the meaty mouth-feel of the sauce. I also include fresh or dried mushrooms if I have them. This sauce is dense and loaded with vegetables, making it a balanced meal.

        1. re: greygarious

          Those are one dish vegetarian pasta meals. I didn't include greens and beans. How do loads of veggies make a balanced meal when combined with pasta, it's almost all carbohydrate?

          1. re: mcf

            Nutrients and fiber from vegetables. I really don't know anyone who considers pasta in tomato sauce a complete one-dish meal.

            1. re: greygarious

              Nutritional macronutrients that are typically measured in terms of dietary balance are carbs/protein/fat, and only the latter two are essential in human biology. Individual micronutrients are very rarely measured in the metabolic research, much less even nutrition journals. A meal that gets, say, 40% or more of its calories from one macronutrient or another is not balanced, though it might be more healthy than balanced, which is never defined, IME.

              1. re: mcf

                so have a proteiny dessert, like ricotta custard

      2. Switch the greens for kale. I like to buy it chopped and prepared, but I give it a quick rinse.

        More wintry, but still good
        Roast cubes of eggplant until crispy. At th same time, roast a head of garlic.
        Combine eggplant cubes, mashed garlic with pasta and your favorite tomato sauce.
        Can be served as is or baked in a Pyrex with mozzarella on top.

        Pasta with goat cheese. So simple, you're basically boiling water for pasta.
        Prepare pasta, reserving pasta water. Toss pasta, chunks of soft goat cheese, pasta water, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add toppings to taste... Kalamata olives, basil, parsley, roasted zucchini, arugula, cartelized onions....

        1. I like the veg + bean + pasta combo for easy dinners too. Some ideas:

          zucchini + chickpeas + garlic roasted on a baking sheet and added to pasta with olive oil

          chickpeas + spinach + kalamata olives + feta (optional)

          mushrooms + kale stroganoff like this http://www.chow.com/recipes/30263-kal...

          pasta carbonara-style with sauteed smoked tofu instead of pork and for extra heresy, peas. No cream though!

          And one of my favorites is pasta with asparagus and a fried egg. Super simple, although it does require more than one pan to be used.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jennymoon

            That's a cool idea to use smoked tofu instead of pancetta! Will try that soon, thanks!

            1. re: Dave MP

              Thanks, but I shouldn't take the credit! I got the idea from here:
              http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2010/05/...

          2. check out this wonderful book by Jack Bishop, Pasta e Vedura: http://www.amazon.com/Pasta-Verdura-V...