Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Breezy Pasta Surprise (gluten-free & vegan)

Yesterday I had more dental work done than I care to admit and when I got home the last thing I wanted to do was put my sore jaw and numb lips to work. Dinner was not going to make itself so it's a good thing I had planned for an easy meal. I have been wanting to take advantage of my new cookbook and so this recipe was inspired by Isa's Tratorria Pasta Salad with White Beans. I say inspired because I was just not in the mood for a cold salad nor did I want to follow all of the steps. Isa-thank you for the ingredients. I added a few, and subtracted a few based on what I had on hand and it was still delish. This was also the first meal that I was able to test out my latest Richard's bulk purchase of Nutritional Yeast (B-Vitamins Galore) and I have to say, those of you who think being a vegan means giving up creamy, cheesy pasta you are wrong-o! 

Easy Breezy Pasta Surprise

1/2 red (or white) onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 jar of capers w/juice (optional)
1 can of Great Northern white beans (drained, rinsed and slightly soaked)
2 Roma tomatoes, cut for food processor
a handful of basil
1/2 of a jar of chopped Kalamata olives (black would work too)
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, whole
1/2 jar of roasted red peppers
3 spoonfuls of sun dried tomato paste OR hydrated sun dried tomatoes
1 box of quinoa shell pasta
A couple of handfuls of arugula
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ground or dried Oregano
A pinch of Marjoram
3-4 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
A handful of self-toasted walnuts for topping
Olive oil for sauce and saute

In a small food processor combine Roma tomatoes, basil, sun-dried tomato paste, a couple swings of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Pulse to read desired consistency. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to directions, rinse and set aside. Coat bottom of saute pan with olive oil, heat on medium then add shallot, onion, and garlic. Saute until fragrant and onions soft. Add pasta and rest of ingredients (except arugula and walnuts) including sauce. Toss until coated, creamy and hot. Turn off burner and add arugula.Toss until slightly wilted. Portion into bowls, top with toasted walnuts (pine nuts would be good too). Serve immediately. Savor and enjoy!

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