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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...

            1. I like to cook greens in with the pasta, saute garlic in oil and pour it on after draining the pasta and greens, I like to add pan fried tempeh too,

              1. I know most people don't think of couscous as a pasta, although it actually is one. There is a wonderful recipe from Flexitarian Table that I love. You can often make it with things you already have in your pantry, which is always helpful. The recipe as written is for bulgur, but he says you can sub couscous and I always do. To paraphrase:
                Heat oven to 400, 1 cup couscous with salt, covered, for one minute, let stand for about 5 minutes, until water has been absorbed. In a skillet add 1 can of rinsed, drained chickpeas, sliced red onion, olive oil or butter, lemon juice, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, same of paprika and cayenne (or more to taste) and stir until the chickpeas begin to sizzle. Transfer to oven and roast for about 20 minutes, then add couscous and stir. Garnish with chopped parsley. I guess technically this isn't 1 pot given that you have to cook the couscous, but it is all so easy that it hardly seems to matter that you need to rinse that 1 pot. Delicious and fairly different.

                1. Here's a favorite of mine. You can use any type of Kale, although for some reason I prefer the curly in this particular dish. This is great to serve in warm weather because it's just as tasty at room temp, & safe to serve that way as well.

                  BACARDI1 GREEK PENNE PASTA WITH KALE AND FETA

                  Half to 1 pound penne pasta (Barilla is my favorite brand), cooked according to al dente package directions & drained
                  1 block/container of Feta cheese, or to taste, chopped/crumbled
                  Approx. 12-24 Kalamata olives, pitted, & roughly chopped **
                  Approx. 1 pound/bunch of Kale, rinsed, stems removed & discarded, & leaves roughly sliced/chopped
                  ½ a large or 1 small red onion, peeled & chopped
                  A few dollops of extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
                  Dash or so of chicken broth or water
                  Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

                  While the cooked pasta is draining in a colander, heat the olive oil in the pot the pasta was cooked in & saute the onion until softened but not brown. Add the chopped kale, stir a bit until wilted, & add a dash or 2 of chicken broth or water if necessary to prevent burning. Add chopped olives, cooked pasta, feta cheese, & crushed red pepper & stir again – gently - until pasta is heated through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

                  ** If you can’t obtain pitted olives, pitting them is accomplished easily by simply placing your broad kitchen knife (sharp side away from you) over each olive & briskly hitting down on the knife with your hand. Olive will break open & pit will be easy to remove.

                  1. Here's another favorite with a spicy Asian twist. While I usually serve it as a side dish, you can increase the amounts of everything to make it a main (& you can also add cooked chicken or shrimp for non-vegetarian diners).

                    BACARDI1 SESAME ZUCCHINI CARROT RAMEN NOODLES

                    1 medium zucchini – OR – 1 small zucchini & 1 small yellow squash
                    1 medium carrot
                    1 scallion
                    1 package plain Ramen noodles (or 1-2 pkges. ramen soup mix – seasoning packet discarded)
                    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
                    Aprox. 1 teaspoon (about 1”) peeled & grated fresh ginger
                    Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
                    Soy sauce to taste
                    Vegetable oil
                    Hot sesame oil (or regular, if desired)

                    Wash & trim zucchini; trim & peel carrot. Cut both into small batons or matchsticks. Trim & slice scallion.

                    Cook ramen noodles according to package directions & drain.

                    In a medium/large skillet, heat a thin coating of vegetable oil & sauté squash & carrot until just barely tender. Add scallion, ginger, & garlic & stir a few times. Add drained noodles & combine gently. Add crushed red pepper flakes & soy sauce to taste & gently combine again. Serve with a drizzle of hot (or regular) sesame oil on top.

                    1. Could you stand just one more? I particularly love this one this time of year when terrific garden eggplants are coming into their own, but it's also great on a chilly fall or winter evening.

                      Bacardi1 Baked Macaroni with Eggplant & Smoked Mozzarella
                      (Adapted from The Classic Pasta Cookbook, by Giulia Hazan)

                      2 medium eggplants (or 4-6 small), trimmed & sliced into approx. ½” slices (I particularly like the little Italian violet eggplants for this dish)
                      Dried Italian Seasoning (or dried oregano)
                      Granulated garlic
                      Crushed red pepper flakes
                      Cavendish Greek Seasoning (or Seasoned Salt)
                      1 stick of unsalted butter
                      1 large onion, very thinly sliced (a mandoline is perfect for this!)
                      1 large can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
                      Freshly grated parmesan cheese
                      4-6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
                      1 pound of macaroni pasta – preferably large ridged elbow macaroni, cavatappi (my favorite for this), ridged penne, small rigatoni, etc., etc.

                      Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente stage, or a little before since it will continue cooking in the oven. Drain & return to pasta pot with a little butter to prevent sticking.

                      Preheat oven to low broil & set oven rack approx. 6” from broiler element. (If your oven only has one broil setting, you may want to place rack farther away, &/or keep a closer watch on the cooking.)

                      Working in batches if necessary, trim & slice eggplants into rounds & place in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, granulated garlic, red pepper flakes, & Cavendish Greek Seasoning. Broil for approximately 5 minutes, or until starting to soften & brown a little. Flip slices, season 2nd side, & broil for another 5 minutes. Remove to a plate & set aside.

                      Turn oven temp down to 350 degrees.

                      In a medium skillet, melt half the stick of butter & sauté onions until nicely softened. Add undrained can of tomatoes & break tomatoes up gently with a spoon. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes to reduce juices a little, then gently fold sauce into cooked pasta.

                      Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish & add a layer of the pasta, followed by a layer of the eggplant slices, & a layer of the sliced smoked mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of pasta/eggplant/smoked mozzarella & finish with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. Dot with remaining half stick of butter & bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted & top is slightly browned.

                      Serve with a nice green salad, or, in season, a nice "Caprese Salad" - sliced ripe garden tomatoes layered with fresh mozzarella & basil leaves.

                      1. Okay, okay, I lied. Just one more - lol!

                        Bacardi1 Mushroom Stroganoff (adapted from "The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two")

                        1/4# fresh Shitake mushrooms
                        1/4# fresh Oyster mushrooms
                        1/4# fresh Cremini mushrooms
                        1/2# fresh White Button mushrooms
                        1/2 medium onion, chopped
                        4 tablespoons butter
                        Pinch of dried thyme or approx. a teaspoon of chopped fresh leaves
                        Salt to taste
                        Freshly ground black pepper
                        1-1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
                        8-ounce container sour cream
                        2-3 tablespoons brandy or cognac
                        1/4-cup dry sherry
                        1# or so of wide egg noodles
                        2-3 teaspoons poppy seeds
                        Butter to toss with egg noodles

                        Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, & toss with a few tablespoons of butter & the poppyseeds. Cover & set aside.

                        Wash the mushrooms thoroughly under running water, trim, (removing any tough stems from the Shitake & Oyster mushrooms), & slice thickly. In a large skillet, saute onion in the 4 tablespoons butter until transparent, then add mushrooms & continue cooking until they have released their excess moisture & it's starting to evaporate. Add thyme, chicken broth, & 3 tablespoons of the sour cream, lower heat, & simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add brandy, sherry, salt & pepper to taste, & the rest of the sour cream, stirring gently just until sour cream is heated thru. Do not overheat or sauce will curdle, but this is just an appearance issue & won't affect the taste. Taste & correct seasoning if necessary.

                        Serve over noodles with a green salad & crusty bread on the side.

                        (Although the sour cream "might" curdle a little with reheating, leftovers are just as tasty nuked in the microwave for lunch the next day.)

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Bacardi1

                          Sounds like a great recipe. Thanks for providing informative information, I really like your post and it's really helpful for us.

                          1. re: Bacardi1

                            I've been looking for a dish like this to make for for a thing I'm hosting, but it would need to be Vegan. I know there are tofu sour cream substitutes out there, but I'm wondering if they work in recipes like this? Substitutes that look and act right when cold don't always heat/melt the way the original would.

                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                              What about just using soft-tofu instead of the sour cream? I have added soft-tofu to salad dressings before, and the result is pretty creamy.

                              And then I guess you'd use olive oil or margarine instead of butter?

                              1. re: Dave MP

                                Yeah, I figured oil for butter was relatively problem-free. It's just the sour cream I'm not sure about. I would think using just plain tofu would eliminate the the slightly sour note that stroganoff gets from the sour cream. I wonder of Tofutti sour cream is basically just that with a sour flavoring added in?

                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                  Tofutti sour supreme is a great sub. Soft tofu will not have the same effect in this recipe.
                                  And earth balance is a good swap for the butter if you prefer that to oil

                              2. re: Jacquilynne

                                I'll bet making some cashew sour cream and using that would work really well here, and would maintain the rich mouthfeel of sour cream:
                                http://www.food.com/recipe/cashew-sou...

                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                  When using vegan sour cream, I usually add a little vinegar and/or lemon juice, since it doesn't have the tang real sour cream does. Much prefer cashew sour cream to soy. It adds another flavor, but a lovely one.

                              3. I made a great one last night based on The Splendid Table's raw tomato sauce. Take a bowl (use the one you're going to eat from to make it truly one-pot!) and rub it with raw garlic. Add chopped fresh tomatoes - got to use tasty in-season ones as you're eating them raw. I used half big vine ones and hal multicoloured cherry ones. Add salt, pepper, leave to come to room temp. Cook your spaghetti til just underdone, then drain and put back in the pan. Pour the tomato juices from the bowl into the pan, cover, and leave over a low heat for a couple of mins for the pasta to soak up the tomato juices. Then mix the pasta into the tomatoes, add some torn basil and torn mozzarella, season, and add a good splosh of nice olive oil. Serve room temp/warm. It was like summer in a bowl!

                                1. Being a vegetarian for almost 37 years,straying once a year for a double double..
                                  Here are my faves that are easy peasy..
                                  Gnocchi with pesto and crimini mushrooms..splash of half and half to cream it up
                                  Stuffed peppers with brown rice, veggies and crumbles from Morningstar which is fantastic..think of ground of veggie burgers but resembles ground beef...
                                  Patty Melt with garden burgers on marble rye, grilled onions and 1,000k...so good.
                                  Tacos made with the Crumble Morningstar Farm product and fry up those corn and flour tortillas with avocado, sharp cheese, red onions, radishes..
                                  Tamale pie and use the crumbles for the meat...serve with a fab salad.
                                  They also have soy sausages that are excellent if you want to do a goat cheese frittata with cherry tomt's.

                                  1. One of my go-to pantry meals is as follows: saute a whole bunch of chopped garlic in a fair amount of olive oil. When just barely golden add a can of chickpeas (drained), and a 14 oz can diced tomatoes (reserve juice and add a bit at a time, I usually use most of it). Add lots of chopped fresh herbs of your choice, or if no fresh are to be had, some dry herbs (thyme, basil, whatever) and a large handful of chopped fresh parsley. Toss with hot pasta. I love this meal - tasty, fast and satisfying. Don't skimp on olive oil, it's the major component of the sauce formed along with the tomato juices.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: prunefeet

                                      I make something similar but add lemon juice and feta for a greek-inspired dinner!

                                      1. re: IndyGirl

                                        Yeah, I sometimes add a squeeze of lemon too.

                                    2. I like this, though I use more walnuts:
                                      http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/0...

                                      It works well with an egg custard for dessert.

                                      1. Another favorite around here is good old "Aglio e Olio", which we just enjoyed the other day. Since the ingredients are pantry staples, most folks always have them on hand & thus this is something that can be whipped up anytime.

                                        Very much a seat-of-the-pants type of recipe, all you do is peel & slice or chop how ever many garlic cloves you want & saute lightly in some extra-virgin olive oil (do NOT allow to brown/burn). Add in crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano or Italian seasoning, & coarse salt to taste. Toss with cooked drained spaghetti & a sprinkling to taste of dried seasoned breadcrumbs (helps all that garlicy seasoned olive oil goodness to stick to the pasta).

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                          I like this video recipe:
                                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyi5X...
                                          a couple fine points are to use fresh red chiles if possible (I use fresh Cayennes a lot of the time), and minced fresh parsley, and to add some of the pasta cooking water into the oil and garlic *before* tossing in the pasta (I like to put the pasta in with tongs without draining too carefully to get some additional water in there).

                                          It's not exactly "one pot" (or quick), but I also like Suzanne Goin's dish from Sunday Supper at Lucques: "Torchio with cauliflower, cavolo nero, currants and pine nuts" (the original has anchovies, but I leave them out or use olives instead). There are some versions of it online. It is really delicious.

                                          On a simpler note, I'll sometimes make orecchiette with broccoli rabe, sliced garlic, crushed red pepper, and sliced black olives. This is also kind of more than one pot, since I usually blanch the broccoli rabe in different water from the pasta, and then saute everything except the pasta, tossing in the pasta at the end.

                                          1. re: will47

                                            I make Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe like that as well!! But I still use just one pot - sometimes I'll use separate water for blanching the rabe & cooking the pasta, but just do them one at a time using the same pot; other times I blanch the rabe first & scoop it out with a spider into a colander, then cook the pasta in the same water & drain it in the same colander. Then the olive oil, seasonings, etc., get sauteed in that same pot, & the pasta/rabe gets folded in. The hot oil heats everything through nicely. I'll also sometimes add a sprinkling of Italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs to help all that olive-oil goodness stick.

                                        2. I saute garlic and asparagus in butter and toss with spaghetti, pasta water, and cheese. Top with poached eggs. Butter, cheese, asparagus, and egg is fantastic.

                                          1. 1. Buy fennel (anise). Roast it. Cut up, heat with oil, butter, garlic if you want and add to pasta. Roasted fennel is amazing. You can roast it with some oil and salt. Add cheese. I like romano.

                                            2. Take some tomatoes. Grape tomatoes work well. Heat, ideally with oil and garlic & whatever spices you like. It's even better if you roast some tomatoes and keep them in a jar. Add goat chess at last minute and toss with pasta. If you add goat cheese early it goes away. Very simple but really good.

                                            3. Do the above with asparagus. Peel it, cook it - roasting is great - cut it up.

                                            4. Make the equivalent of stracciatella: put a few eggs in a bowl, add salt and pepper, beat with romano or parmesan. Add to pasta. Don't overheat because it should be light, fluffy and peppery.

                                            5. Break up a head of cauliflower. Roast it with some oil, garlic and salt. Char it a bit. There are few things better in the world by itself and adding it to some pasta is terrific.

                                            6. Change the flavor profile. The ones above all work with an Italian and maybe a Greek profile. Use smoked paprika and olives, green or black or both. Make it more Spanish.

                                            1. Not pasta, but hearty and versatile: are you familiar with mujadarra? There are threads about it on Home Cooking. It's a one-dish lentil/rice/caramelized onion creation that is way more than the sum of its parts. It works at various temperatures, as a main, side, bruschetta topping, etc.
                                              You can go beyond the recipe by adding other vegetables (e.g. cooked beans, spinach, eggplant) to the finished mujadarra, and if making it for omnivores, try adding slices of cooked kielbasa or other sausage.

                                              1. One of my faces -- melt a bunch of anchovies in olive oil, add finely chopped garlic and pepper flakes, and halved or quarters cherry tomatoes. The anchovies are barely detectable but add great depth to a very simple "sauce".

                                                Finish pasta (spaghetti, linguine or fettucine) in this mix, adding more oil if needed. Done. Add grated cheese of your choice.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  May be great, but definitely not vegetarian.

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      I wonder if a good substitute would be marinated portobello mushroom slices. Will have to try.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    The sauce also does *not* include "one of my faces".

                                                    I'm freaked out only seeing this now, and I don't think I even typed this on a smartphone....it's obviously supposed to say "faves".

                                                  2. This dish is more summery than fall/winter.

                                                    It is pasta, with pesto, green beans, potatoes, and pine nuts. It is so delicious and simple. Potatoes in a pasta dish may sound unusual but it is apparently found in some regions of Italy (Liguria?).
                                                    Here is one recipe:
                                                    http://theitaliandishblog.com/importe...

                                                    I usually make it with rotini instead of spaghetti/fettucine, but the dish seems to be forgiving of different types of pasta, use the pesto recipe you like instead of what's suggested, etc.

                                                    1. When pressed for time, or craving a simple pasta dish, I put the pasta on to boil and add in small fresh broccoli florets for the last 3 minutes. Drain, return to pot and toss with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt (lots!) and maybe some freshly grated Parmesan.

                                                      Or saute sliced leeks and finely chopped kale, add cream and thicken a bit. Toss in the cooked pasta and season with nutmeg. 2 pots, but not a lot of work.

                                                      1. This is another favorite at our house.
                                                        http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2011/...
                                                        No specific recipe (though you may be able to find others online), but basically, it's negi (like a big green onion) or leek sautéed with maitake, shiitake, and / or other mushrooms, tossed with spaghetti, and topped with some daikon radish sprouts, grated daikon, and dried seaweed strips.

                                                        1. Hugo's pasta mama is a favorite in our house. Pasta, eggs, parsley, Parmesan, chopped tomatoes, garlic, spices. We like whole wheat pasta,

                                                          1. I love pasta with pesto sauce, chopped sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese.

                                                            1. Pierogies w apples and sauerkraut. Put diced apples in large frying pan with some oil over med heat and cover for about 3 min. Add frozen pierogies (I like potato and onion ones) and allow side to get browned. Turn and add sauerkraut. Cover for about 5 min. Eat. If you are feeling fancy, you can add some caraway seeds at the beginning.

                                                              1. Just today I had a stew of chana dal and lentils mixed with cooked red chard .I simmered both adding a small amount of uncooked whole grain spaghetti mixing until al denti .

                                                                1. Orzo with corn, zucchini, shallots, parsley and red pepper flakes.

                                                                  1. Ooh. Yes.

                                                                    My #1: Spinach, garlic, EVOO/butter, and parmesan. Mix it all up and drizzle with balsamic. Sometimes I add basil. I eat this at least once a week. If you make it with angel hair/cappellini, it's ready in 5 minutes.

                                                                    I used to make a similar one with broccoli or broccolini.

                                                                    I keep a little container of Trapanese pesto in the fridge, covered in oil. It involves a food processor, but takes minutes to make and is such a wonderful alternative to regular tomato or basil-based sauces. I make it similar to this, just tweaking to taste, and omitting the anchovies and raisins: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                                                    I also do roasted veg with pasta constantly. More than one pan, but I don't count the oven pan. Just line your baking sheets with parchment and there's nothing to clean up.

                                                                    Awesome roasted veg for pasta: Potatoes (yes, potatoes!), sweet potatoes/yams, any kind of squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, any kind of pepper, onions, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms etc.

                                                                    Just pile whatever you've got onto a sheet pan with olive oil and garlic and roast until tender. Toss with hot pasta and add enough cheese to bind into a light sauce. So good.

                                                                    Tried this one recently as well, interesting cooking method, not very quick, but pretty tasty: http://thecarboholic.com/2013/11/08/p...

                                                                    1. My wife came up with this recently, and I thought it was really good. I've been doing something kind of similar with swiss chard (stems finely diced, leaves chiffonaded) and preserved lemon.

                                                                      Recipe, c/p from her site:

                                                                      6-8 leaves of kale chopped finely
                                                                      1/4 cup pistachio
                                                                      garlic
                                                                      1 dried chile (I used cayenne, but crushed red chili works)
                                                                      half a lemon
                                                                      olive oil
                                                                      salt
                                                                      pepper
                                                                      pasta (I used spaghetti)

                                                                      Boil water and cook pasta to just before it’s done. While the pasta is cooking, sautee chopped garlic, crushed chile, and kale leaves in olive oil on low heat. Salt that mixture to taste, but it’s ok if it’s a little under salted if you’re used salted pistachios like I did. When the pasta is about to be done, add in a few teaspoons more oil and the crushed pistachio to the pan and toss to mix the ingredients.

                                                                      When the pasta is just about done, turn the pan with the kale’s heat to high, add in the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Stir and toss to distribute everything. This should make a sticky, creamy sauce as it cooks down. If the pasta is still too chewy for your taste, add more pasta cooking liquid. Salt to taste. When it’s done, turn off the heat, squeeze half a lemon over it, stir, and it’s done.

                                                                      For a complete meal, I like topping it with a runny fried egg.

                                                                      1. i always have a batch of spicy thai peanut sauce on hand.

                                                                        it's easy to boil up some buckwheat soba, during the last minute of cooking add some sugar snap peas to the pot (whole).

                                                                        after draining top the whole thing with some spicy thai peanut sauce and, if you like, garnish with cilantro

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                          I make something really similar! I add edamame to the pasta mix, and i always put a big handful spinach in the bottom of my bowl- the hot pasta wilts it perfectly. I use wads of cilantro- love that stuff!

                                                                        2. Pasta e Fagioli (pasta with beans) is one of my favorite vegan recipes.

                                                                          http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. My best friend who has been a vegetarian for a long time has recently switched to vegan. I made this the other day for lunch and she LOVED IT! It's called "Caponata". A local store sells it and I just heated it up and poured it over some pasta that she brought. It was FANTASTIC! They have a website if you are interested?

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Betsy0910

                                                                              Caponata is a wonderful Sicilian eggplant appetizer, usually served at room temp. But I don't see why it wouldn't work on pasta, either.

                                                                              I make my own, tho.

                                                                            2. whole grain soba with snap peas and peanut sauce.

                                                                              towards the end of the soba cook time throw the sugar snap peas in the water with it. drain the soba and the peas together.
                                                                              toss with peanut sauce (shameless plug for using Santa Cruz brand DARK ROASTED organic peanut butter for making the sauce) lots of peanut sauce recipes available on the web.

                                                                              here's an example of one of them, but there are tons more.
                                                                              i use a different system, blending the ginger and garlic with the water in the blender then mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients AND i use sugar, not honey. by doing it this way, the blender is much easier to clean..

                                                                              http://food52.com/recipes/25470-homem...

                                                                              1. 2 words: Immersion blender. Great way to re-imagine pasta sauces. Here's the approach: Saute onions, garlic and sweet bell peppers - yellow or red - in olive oil (or use leftover roasted veggies) Set a couple of spoonfuls of the veggies aside. Add soft-cooked white beans to the veggie saute. Pulverize with immersion blender. Pepper to taste. Pour over cooked pasta. Toss. Use the veggies you set aside as a garnish.