Vegetarian Pasta Recipes for Beginners
Pasta is Great for Vegetarians
My 12 year old daughter recently announced that she was a vegetarian. This came out of the blue so we have had to quickly get up to speed. We found that pasta dishes are great. They are filling, there is a huge choice, interesting textures and best of all, like all Italian food, they are delicious. We also found that we could easily adapt a couple of old favorite meat or fish based dishes into vegetarian dishes that we all enjoy.
I've detailed a couple of our new favorite recipes. We are still learning and adapting the recipes as we go along but these seem to work well and we never have any left-overs!
Photo courtesy of Roger Karlsson
Vegetable Pasta Bake Recipe
We used to have tuna pasta bake once a week, so it was easy to switch to a vegetable pasta bake. We find it more delicious than the tuna version. We use fusilli pasta but any chunky type of pasta would be suitable.
Ingredients for 5-6 people
1 1/2 generous mugs of dried fusilli
3 cloves of chopped garlic
600 grams of chopped plum tomatoes
1 1/2 sliced medium courgettes
1 1/2 chopped peppers (we prefer green peppers)
1 1/2 large chopped onions
6 large, quartered mushrooms
2 pinches of mixed herbs
Breadcrumbs & Cheese (we like feta or mozzarella) to sprinkle on top
Follow the packet instructions to cook the pasta in boiling water. Drain and put aside in an oven proof dish. You need a dish large enough to take the pasta and all the vegetables. Fry all the vegetables and the mixed herbs (not the the tomatoes) in olive oil until they are soft. Now add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, stir to mix the flavors. Taste and season as required. Add the vegetables over the pasta and gently stir. Add water or stock to achieve your preferred consistency (can either be quite solid or runny, you choose). Sprinkle the mixture with a generous topping of breadcrumbs and cheese and cook in a moderate oven (180 C) for 15 to 20 minutes.
You can experiment with different vegetables such as leek, aubergine, cauliflower or spinach. Just look for what's in season and appeals.
Summer Vegetable Pasta
This is a light dish, just right for supper in the Summer. Just like the vegetable pasta bake above, you can vary the pasta and vegetables as you wish.
Ingredients (serves 6)
300 grams tagliatelle
125 grated Parmesan cheese
12 halved cheery tomatoes
300 ml vegetable stock
200 ml creme fraiche
1 large sliced courgette
150 grams cauliflower florets (or broccoli)
1 medium yellow pepper (strips)
1 1/2 crushed gloves
1 1/2 finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
Seasoning to taste
Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the tagliatelle. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for approximately 3 minutes. Add the courgette, cauliflower and pepper and saute until soft. Add the stock and creme fraiche and simmer. Add the cherry tomatoes and simmer for a further minute. Add about two-thirds of the cheese and season.
Finally toss the tagliatelle (drained) with the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese
Benefits of Vegetarian Lifestyle