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, I had nothing in the fridge, and it was so windy and wild outside that I also had no desire to pop to the supermarket.
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 – I recommend Rizopia), dairy-free, vegan and perfect for Meat-Free Mondays. All in all, the perfect cosy winter dinner! Especially if you spent all your money on Black Friday…oops.
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 butter, vegan or grass-fed (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (the best quality you can afford)
- 1/3 cup red wine
- Large handful fresh basil, shredded
- 1/3 cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours and patted dry and drained
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 300g gluten-free pasta (I use Rizopia brown rice pasta)
- Parmesan / vegan cheese / Nutritional Yeast to serve (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. Add in the wine, then bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened. Stir often to prevent the sauce from catching.
- Stir through the basil, then place in a blender with the cashews. Blend until completely smooth, then season to taste.
- In the meantime, cook your pasta according to packet instructions. Drain in cold water, reserving 2-3 tbsp of the cooking water. Set pasta aside.
- Add your cooking water to the blended sauce, then blend once more (add more or less depending on desired consistency), seasoning more to taste if necessary.
- To make the chapatis, heat a small amount of coconut oil in a pan until sizzling. Add the chapatis, one at a time, cooking on each side for 30 seconds to one minute, or until golden and light brown. Wrap in kitchen roll to keep warm and repeat with your remaining dough.
- Stir your sauce through the cooked pasta, adding more pepper and basil if desired. Serve in bowls topped with parmesan, if desired.