Most people seem to associate eating pasta with running marathons. I’m not a huge fan of pasta. I’d prefer to have my carb source be from yams, rice, or quinoa. (Unless we’re talking macaroni and cheese, in which case I love pasta) That being said, it is nice to mix things up a bit. The other night I was on a Pinterest recipe binge and found several which called for nutritional yeast. It’s not an ingredient I’m familiar with so I did some research to figure out what the deal was. It’s really popular with vegans and vegetarians as it has a very nutty, creamy or cheesy flavouring which is a fantastic substitute for cheese in sauces, toppings or spreads. I adore cheese so it’s hard to buy into a cheese substitute; nothing else can truly stand in for cheese. Still, nutritional yeast is also high in vitamin B, which is great for runners. So, knowing these things, I wanted to try a recipe that calls for nutritional yeast.
The Minimalist Baker has lots of vegan and vegetarian recipes so I knew that was going to be good place to check for some recipes. I came across a recipe for vegan roasted red pepper pasta, which has a creamy sauce which looked fantastic. Relatively simple to make, just a little bit of time to roast the peppers but all the other prep can be done in the waiting time. It’s supposed to be a vegan meal, but I added in broccoli and some roasted chicken to ramp up the protein and fibre content of the meal. It worked out wonderfully. So, I can safely say that, from my one experience with nutritional yeast, I’ll try some other recipes.
Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Prep time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 45 minutes
Total time – 1 hour
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1.5 cups Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (or other thickener of choice)
- Pinch red pepper flake (optional, for heat)
- 12 ounces gluten free linguini or spaghetti noodles (or other noodle of choice)
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Finely chopped fresh parsley or basil
- Heat oven to 500 degrees F and roast red peppers on a baking sheet until charred – about 25-30 minutes. Cover in foil for 10 minutes to steam, then remove (peel away) charred skin, seeds and stems. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain, toss in a touch of olive oil, cover with a towel and set aside.
- While the red peppers are roasting, bring a large skillet over medium heat and sautee onion and garlic in 2-3 Tbsp olive oil until golden brown and soft – about 4-5 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Transfer sautéed shallot and garlic to blender with roasted peppers, almond milk, red pepper flake, nutritional yeast and cornstarch. Season with desired amount of salt, pepper and red pepper flake.
- Blend until creamy and smooth, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or nutritional yeast for flavor. You want the flavor to be pretty robust and strong since the noodles don’t have much flavor – so be generous with your seasonings.
- Once blended, place sauce back in the skillet over medium heat to thicken. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering.
- Once sauce is thickened to desired consistency (see photo), add noodles. However, before tossing add a touch more olive oil, salt and pepper to the un-tossed noodles for added flavor. Then, toss to coat.
- Serve with (generous amounts of) vegan parmesan, red pepper flake and fresh chopped parsley or basil.