For as long as I can remember, I have been something of a pasta addict. In fact, if I was forced to choose, I’d probably say that it’s my all-time favourite food.
The problem for me is that I simply cannot ration myself to a small bowl! Whenever I have pasta, it’s all or nothing – huge, creamy bowls that are enough to feed a family of six.
Does anyone else have this problem? I always see pretty portions in recipe books or on blogs, and wonder how anyone has the motivation to resist going back for seconds, thirds or fourths…!
Anyway. I whipped up this Creamy Red Pepper & Tomato Pasta the other day, when my cupboards were bare (as are most!), I had nothing in the fridge, and it was so windy and cold outside that all I wanted was carbs.
If anything, I am incredibly happy that the weather was so awful, because this is now one of my favourite dinners!
It’s super simple to make, uses only store cupboard ingredients, and tastes divine. Plus, look how creamy and dreamy it is…how could you fail to be comforted when greeted with a bowl like that?
If you still buy ready-made, bottled jars of pasta sauces, then I really hope that this can convince you otherwise. Not only is this sauce cheap to make, but it is full of nourishing ingredients – zero added sugar, too! – and tastes far better than any sauce you’ll ever buy.
Plus, it’s gluten-free (provided you use gluten-free pasta, of course), dairy-free, vegan and perfect for Meat-Free Mondays. All in all, the perfect cosy dinner!
I hope you enjoy this bowl full of comfort food every last bit as much as I do. And, hey, let’s not restrict those portions either!
Creamy Red Pepper & Tomato Pasta
- Serves 4
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (the best quality you can afford)
- Large handful fresh basil, shredded
- 1/3 cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes (can sub for 1/4 cup plant milk)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 300g gluten-free pasta (I used red lentil pasta)
- To serve:
- Vegan cheese / Nutritional Yeast to serve (optional – I love Artisan Raw vegan cheese)
- 1 cup cooked and drained chickpeas (optional)
- Heat some oil in a pan, then gently fry the garlic for a few minutes, stirring often.
- Add in the tomato puree, optional butter, chopped tomatoes and red pepper and stir well. Bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened. Stir often to prevent the sauce from catching.
- In the meantime, drain your soaked cashews.
- Stir the basil through the cooked tomato sauce, then place in a blender with the cashews. Blend until completely smooth, then season to taste.
- Cook your pasta according to packet instructions. Drain in cold water, then set pasta aside.
- Stir your sauce through the cooked pasta, applying heat if needed and adding more salt / pepper and basil if desired. Serve in bowls tossed through with chickpeas and tossed with vegan cheese, if using