Tangy and Spicy Vegetarian Whole Wheat Pasta

Tangy and Spicy Pasta

Dig into this healthy vegetarian penne dish---no guilt, just sheer pleasure.
Dig into this healthy vegetarian penne dish---no guilt, just sheer pleasure.

Tangy and Spicy Vegetarian Whole Wheat Pasta—that sounds like a mouthful. I was trying to put every description in what makes this dish totally appetizing and everything it says it is. No bologna—it has all pure ingredients with all the wholesome goodness of freshness and taste.

This dish is very easy to prepare—you can’t go wrong and you can even make it with your eyes half closed, if you want to. Its health index is high when you consider the ingredients. Whole wheat pasta, as we know, helps to regulate blood sugar level, so you don’t get the sugar rush of regular carbohydrates. Health experts will tell you that whole grain helps with weight control—fills you up and keeps you full longer. Korean chili pepper is a thermogenic spice—burns fats and raises metabolic rate. Lemon juice gives zest and lots of antioxidants. If I’m sounding like a nutritional prude…I know…I’ll stop right here and just get on with the recipe. I’m sure you can google the health benefits of sesame oil, cilantro, tomatoes and whatever.


  • Half a pack of whole wheat pasta, cooked according to directions on package
  • 1 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 sprigs of green onion, chopped
  • ½ an onion (can be brown, white or purple), chopped


  •   2 tablespoons of vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Juice of one big lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of Korean Chili flakes (or cayenne pepper, adjust more or less according to your spice tolerance)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • A splash of water , so pasta is nice and moist.

There you have it--the simplest thing you'll ever have to make and it doesn't require the culianary clever of Emeril Lagasse. You can whip it up in no time and impress members of your family, friends, even your mother-in-law (if you have one).


  • If you stumble upon this hub, even though you're a sworn meat eater, don't buzz off. Just add cooked meat and toss. Enjoy!
  • Don't like the selection of herbs? Pick your own--mint, paisley, basil, chives, etc. Dried herbs will do as well.
  • Don't have the seasonings at hand? What do you have in your spice rack? Un-rack them and have a blast.
  • Allergic to sesame oil? Try olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil.
  • Don't like whole wheat pasta? You can substitute it with refined pasta,but eating whole wheat pasta is like trading your clunkers for cash (maybe, not quite) but it will enrich your health for sure.

Health Benefits of Whole Grain

Whole grains are grains that have not been refined, so they are naturally higher in fiber and nutrient content (think selenium, potassium, manganese and magnesium). Examples of whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, popcorn, whole what bread, pasta or crackers and wild rice.

Health Benefits:

  • Helps Weight Loss. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that weight gain is inversely associated with high-fiber intake such as whole grain foods.
  • Reduces Risk of Metabolic Syndrome. Studies cited in Diabetes Care revealed that eating whole grain foods can reduce risks of metabolic syndrome.
  • Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk. Whole grains are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps to regulate the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.
  • Alleviates Symptoms of Diverticular Disease. Helps to relieve symptoms related to diverticular disease such as pain, nausea, flatulence, distension and constipation.

Creating the sauce

Can you guess what's in this organized mess? Vegetarian oyster sauce, Korean Chili flakes, sugar, garlic salt, sesame oil, lemon juice.
Can you guess what's in this organized mess? Vegetarian oyster sauce, Korean Chili flakes, sugar, garlic salt, sesame oil, lemon juice. | Source

Health Benefits of Chili Pepper

What makes chili pepper so special apart from its ability to make you cry? It has a secret ingredient called capsaicin that gives chili pepper its fiery hit. However, more than just a spice to lend your food some edge, chili pepper packs a punch when it comes to enriching your health:

  • Reduces Pain. Capsaicin is anti-inflammatory. It inhibits substance P, a substance associated with pain. Consider what this translates to --capsaicin helps reduce pain associated with sensory nerve fiber disorders such as arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. Several studies showed that the application of topical capsaicin can help to reduce arthritic pain. Along this line, it also helps to relieve headaches and migraines.
  • Fights Cardiovascular Diseases. To reduce risks of cardiovascular disease, it is best to reduce bad cholesterol level, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. Capsaicin can help you do that—cultures that consume lots of chili pepper have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary complications.
  • Fights Cancer. According to Dr. Lehmann, MD, Ph.D., “Cancer has a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture.” Simply put, capsaicin causes prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.
  • Reduce Weight. A dash of chili pepper can rev up your metabolism and help burn off fats. The heat generated by the spice is a burning mechanism by itself.
  • Fights Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion. If your nose is clogged, consider eating foods with chili pepper. It has the ability to stimulate secretions that clears the nasty mucus from your nose, thereby clearing the nasal passage. What’s more? It also contains anti-bacterial agents that fight chronic sinus infections.

Assembling the Pasta dish

Put penne pasta, green onion, cilantro, chopped tomatoes in--ready to toss.
Put penne pasta, green onion, cilantro, chopped tomatoes in--ready to toss.

All Ready to Serve.

Dig in or.....
Dig in or.....

Small Portion Size

Or portion control, if you're watching your waistline.
Or portion control, if you're watching your waistline.

More by this Author

Comments 31 comments

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

Yay! I'm the first to comment! Just like you, I love my pasta spicy. Normally, I just add a little bit of sriracha to a regular pasta sauce and that's it. Nice and simple. But your recipe also sounds easy and yummy. I'm definitely going to try it. :)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Om, so sweet to find you here and you're the first! Actually, I wanted to title it "Tangy and Spicy Thai Pasta"--cos I modify this recipe from "Yum Woon Sen." I know, it's a far cry (no fish sauce) but I was playing with the spicy and sour favor that I so love, when I came out with this simple combo that satisfies my sour/spicy craving. And Sriracha--I love that stuff!

Thank you for dropping by:)

christiansister profile image

christiansister 6 years ago

Looks very yummy :)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Thanks, christiansister, for dropping by.

Russell-D profile image

Russell-D 6 years ago from Southern Ca.

Food easily is the most common subject written about on Hub Pages. Most newbies indicate it as a first topic of interest; a recipe always attracts unusual reader numbers. For example, the recipe for “Chapulines” featuring crisped grasshoppers, drew more than 300 readers. That got me wondering about what today we consider Disgusting. So I GOOGLED “Disgusting Foods”, and was I surprised. Friday, I’ll post “Foods Disgusting Today, Tomorrow’s Delicacy?” You food mavens might find it interesting. David

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Anginwu, It's good to see you on hubpages as I haven't seen you too often lately. The food looks great.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Wow - looks so delicious! I think I found my Sunday evening dinner this weekend!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Ruseell, thanks for dropping by.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Pamela, good to see you here. I've been busy and therefore delinquent here, but hopefully, I'll be more active from now on. Thanks for dropping by.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

stephhicks, you're going to have a relaxing Sunday, for sure. Enjoy! Thanks for commenting.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Healthy and delish - a win-win!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Good to hear from u again, Habee!

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

Goodness gracious, this sounds DELICIOUS! Bookmarked and voted up!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Gracious me, lovely to find you here, Simone. Thanks for your kind comments.

TheListLady profile image

TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

Sounds good. I made some just a few days ago - and now I will follow your recipe. Rated up!

Thanks a million!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Thanks a million, too, Listlady. Enjoy your pasta.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

anglnwu - Oh this looks scrumptious and so simply to fix. The only ingredient I will have to purchase is the oyster sauce. I have one question. Does it taste like oysters? If so, is there something you might suggest as a substitute as I am not fond of oysters. Nice job on this hub. Sage

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Sage, lovely to see you again. Oyster sauce doesn't taste like oysters (thankfully!) and if you like Chinese food, well, most have some degree of oyster sauce in them. If you don't really like anything connected to seafood, try the vegetarian oyster sauce (made from mushroom). Let me know how yours turn out. Thanks again.

Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Oh thank you, thank you anglnwu! I've seen this dish numerous of times and have always wondered what were the ingredients and how to fix it with original ingredients rather than a powdered packaged mix. :( Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Love that is easy to fix as well. Rating up!:)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

MG, you're so welcomed. Glad you can now make your own spicy and tangy pasta without the manufactured mix. Send some over when you make yours. It always tastes better when you share it with friends. Again, thank you so much.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I will try this one angel, I like spicy pasta with veggies. Maita

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Maita, so nice to see u here. Enjoy your pasta.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love wheat pasta. I'll show this recipes to my Mom. I hope she could make this for me. I believe this is healthy food. Thank you very much. Rating Up!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Prasetio, I'm envious--you can get your mom to make food for you. I've to make it myself. Anyway, it's very simple, so your mom will have no problem at all. Enjoy and great to see you again.

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Hi anglnwu! I like this recipe. Next time I cook pasta, I´ll try this. Thanks for sharing. Bookmark. Sounds YUMMY!!!!!!!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thelma Alberts, thanks for commenting. I hope it turns out well for you.

Vacation Trip profile image

Vacation Trip 3 years ago from India

Wow. This pastas looks delicious. Thank you for sharing.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Thanks, Vacation Trip.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Vishakha, thanks for reading and commenting.

NonCopyBook profile image

NonCopyBook 24 months ago from NSW Australia

This made me hungry. You're vegetarian? (I see you granted that meat eaters will add meat during the hub!) I'm largely or essentially vegan and welcome ideas like this, quite new to the site so finding how it all operates. Looking forward to reading your other hubs.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 23 months ago Author

Noncopybook, sorrry, not a vegetarian, though I must say I love vegetables. I do eat meat in small portions. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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