Late fall is a nice time to experiment with easy pasta recipes since most of us are running around like busy little bees, gearing up for the super-busy holiday winter season ahead. Easy, fast, healthy, comfort-food-style pasta dinners can help keep your productive weekdays and nights moving along smoothly.
Here's a green pasta recipe that's reminiscent of a Spinach Alfredo. Only my recipe is vegan.
Classic Alfredo is a decadent mixture of cheese, butter and sometimes milk/cream melted into a dense white creamy sauce. My Easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce is quite different, yet the still creamy, savory, sharp and bold.
Easy Vegan Alfredo. My vegan Alfredo contains a NYC mixture (Nutritional Yeast Cheese) of Dijon Mustard, Vegenaise, Spices and of course, Nutritional Yeast. Since this is a Spinach Alfredo, I've also tossed in a pile of green spinach. You can serve this pasta warm or chill in the fridge overnight for a cold, flavorful lunchtime pasta salad. My recipe...
I'm Not Alfraid-o of Spinach! This pasta is accented with lots of healthy, organic spinach. You can easily use fresh or frozen spinach. I just happened to have a leftover half bag of frozen spinach from my Vegan Spinach Dip recipe - so frozen is what I used.
This recipe is easy to spruce up into a balanced meal...
Make it a Meal. You can toss in a few vegan sausage slices, grilled tempeh, seitan, various beans or lentils, potatoes or pine nuts. Adding ingredient accents will make it more of a hearty, well-rounded meal. Other ideas..
Fresh basil/garlic can be chopped and sprinkled over top.
Fresh diced tomatoes poured over top would be a nice accent as well.
Nutritional Yeast. I buy mine at Whole Foods. Kal and Bragg's brands are my favorites at WF. More info. You can also buy Nutritional Yeast online...
I also love One Lucky Duck's Nutritional Yeast $6.75 online.
Easy Vegan Spinach Alfredo Pasta
vegan, makes 4 servings
1 "large pot of pasta" (I used organic spiral semolina)
*use any variety of pasta you'd like - the dry amount will vary - but it should cook up to be around 6 cups of fluffy cooked pasta
1/2 bag frozen spinach (about 3 cups frozen/packed or 5 fresh baby spinach, chopped)
"Vegan Alfredo" Sauce:
1/3 cup reserved pasta water (from drained pasta)
3-4 Tbsp Vegenaise (vegan mayo-like condiment)
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt/pepper to taste
*add in some EVOO for a richer Alfredo texture
-red pepper flakes (garnish)
-EVOO for tossing cooked pasta
-vegan Parmesan cheese on top
-spritz of fresh lemon juice mixed in - adds a bright zesty accent
1. Cook your pasta. Drain. (Reserve 1/3 cup of the starchy hot pasta water). Toss pasta with a drizzle of EVOO (opt'l).
2. Pour drained pasta back into the warm pot you cooked it in. Fold in all the "Alfredo Sauce" ingredients. Since the pasta is still warm, they should all melt together quite nicely.
3. Next, fold in your spinach. You should thaw frozen spinach slightly before folding in. Fresh baby spinach will wilt nicely into the warm pasta.
4. Serve warm or store in fridge overnight! Garnish with red pepper flakes on top.
Spinach Pasta that Popeye would love (it's oozing vibrant spinach!..)