How to diversify pasta?

Don’t worry, if you’ve ditched the usual spaghetti seasonings – including meat and dairy – the possibilities are not less, but more! After all, vegetables and soy products are at your service, and you are free to experiment with all this wealth. The transition to veganism is just that “magic kick” that can awaken in you, the “ordinary vegan”, if not a chef, then certainly a person who approaches cooking with a spark. Down with the ordinary, let’s experiment!

1. “Meat” mushroom sauce Mushrooms in cooking perfectly replace meat and saturate. Of course, mushrooms are originally present in many Italian pizza and pasta recipes – here we, vegetarians, do not go far “from the truth” at all. 

To prepare homemade “meat” mushroom sauce, we need several ingredients, the main of which is a good tomato sauce, ketchup or tomato paste. Better if it’s organic! You can also take homemade sauce “” for the base – it’s also easy to learn how to make it. Add 1 kg of chopped mushrooms, a quarter of finely chopped onion and a pinch of cloves and or minced garlic to the sauce. Fry over medium heat for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes. By the way, you can add Italian spices – oregano or basil (a pinch, no more).

This sauce is perfect with whole grain pasta, brown rice (“Chinese”) noodles, sprouted grain pasta, or quinoa noodles.

If you have a spiralizer (aka “spiral cutter” – a kitchen tool for making vegetable noodles), then you can make homemade noodles – for example, from sweet peppers or potatoes! However, you can cook vegetable “pasta” without a spiralizer, using a potato peeler or (although this will not be so convenient and easy).

2. Sauce “Bolognese” – in the studio! Tip of the Day: Vegan Bolognese Sauce is the one that adds a truly amazing flavor to any pasta dish! In this sauce, hot peppers, onions and garlic set the tone – maybe not the best combination for a romantic dinner, but certainly not the last option for a hearty lunch. With Bolognese sauce, both regular pasta and brown rice spaghetti are good. It is ideal to add fresh artichokes, olives and other fresh vegetables to this sauce. Who said pasta is boring and tasteless?!

3. Hello carrots Carrots or pumpkin puree will not only add a fresh flavor to spaghetti sauce, but will also increase the fiber content, vitamins A and C, and give the dish a thickness that is often necessary. 

Eating root vegetables is one of the best options for getting complex carbohydrates! Therefore, generously replace unhealthy meats and cheese in pasta dishes with delicious vegetable ingredients: for example, carrot rings, sweet potato (sweet potato) or beetroot cubes, pumpkin puree and other seasonally available root vegetables.

4. Cheesy taste, but no cheese!

To give the sauce an extraordinarily “cheesy” taste, use… nutritional yeast – 100% vegan. Nutritional yeast is not “active” so you don’t have to worry about digestive problems even if you have an intolerance to regular yeast. Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins, especially B3, B5, B6, and (watch out!) B12. In addition, nutritional yeast is a complete protein source (with all the essential amino acids), and if you are not losing weight, then this is a wonderful way to “charge” your pasta with protein!

There are also store-bought or homemade varieties of Parmesan, including 100% Vegan Almond and Brazil Nut Parmesan. Still not sure that “regular” pasta can be a delicacy?!

5. Ethical (and ethnic!) hot sauces If you are not averse to eating spicy and not indifferent to Indian cuisine, why not diversify your bored pasta with Indian sauces? This works flawlessly. You can buy ready-made curry in the supermarket, or, with a little time and effort, make a completely “Indian” sauce at home – using flakes or chili powder, or ready-made garam masala and cumin – all these ingredients are easily bought in any. 

Appetizer Tip: Try making your sauce with coconut milk instead of water. This will give the dish density and make the taste richer.

In general, pasta is not boring! Just remember that going vegetarian or vegan is not a diet restriction, but an excuse to turn on your imagination and eat more fresh vegetables and other healthy and ethical products!

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