Veggie Pasta Sauce

broccoli rabe pasta sauceIt’s a new year my friends, and I am wildly busy! My guess is you are too, so I’m keeping this short and sweet, and resharing this quick and easy recipe for veggie pasta sauce! It can be as simple as four typical pantry ingredients plus a fresh vegetable. For this recipe I used broccoli rabe, but you can use whatever you have available!

Put a pot of water on for your pasta. Choose a whole grain pasta, such as brown rice pasta. Or, you can get more bang for your buck nutritionally by using one of those pastas that are packed with not only whole grain carbs but also protein—such as, black bean or adzuki bean pasta. While the water is boiling and you are cooking your pasta, make the sauce. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than required.

All I did was sauté garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil until fragrant, then I added (optional) some white wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Do not reduce all the way as this broth becomes your liquid for the sauce. If you don’t want to use wine, a vegetable stock or water will work equally well. While that was working, I washed and cut up some broccoli rabe, separating the tender florets and leaves from the stems. When the white wine reduced slightly, I added in the broccoli rabe stems, sautéing for 2 minutes, then added in the florets and leaves.

When the pasta was done, I drained the pasta, put it back into the pot, tossed in the broccoli rabe sauce, and cooked for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the pasta was nicely al dente and absorbed some of the wonderfully-tasty sauce.

For more versatility, you can use whatever vegetable or combination you like. Have leftover veggies, use them. Add in different herbs and spices to create a different flavor profile—such as lemongrass and Thai chili paste; or onions, turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry powder; or Chinese five-spice. Toss in a vegan chickenless strips or beef cubes, or garbanzo beans (or any other bean of your liking). Have some vegan yogurt or nut crema, add that in for a creamy sauce. Toss in some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

A healthy and delicious meal need not be laborious, costly, or boring. Be creative. But most importantly, enjoy the fuel that you put into your body.

*An important aspect of sharing original recipes is to give proper credit to the author(s) of the recipe(s).  I hope that you enjoy using these recipes and making them your own; but please do so with that integrity in mind. With much gratitude. - Linda

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