I hit the kitchen this week and developed a new pasta dish! Meet my vegan Mediterranean pasta and learn how you can whip up this recipe yourself. Garlic, lemon, capers…oh my!
Yes, I do enjoy perusing Pinterest for recipes but my favorite thing to do in the kitchen is to build my own around one key ingredient. This week I had a hankering (strange word) for capers. There was some spinach and red peppers hanging around in the fridge that needed to be used and with those I started mentally building the pasta recipe of my dreams. I swung by the market after work to get all the other ingredients I would need and set out to create the pasta dish of my dreams. I’m going to call it my Vegan Mediterranean Pasta. It’s loaded with all sorts of nutritious veggies, capers and buckets of flavor. Only thing missing? The glass of white wine on the side.
I think my ‘sweet tooth’ is definitely dying down with age, because savory pasta dishes like this seriously give me life. And I guarantee, if you give this recipe a try, you too will devour it in a flash. It doesn’t even matter if you’re vegan or not, the recipe is so satisfying that it will please anyone’s appetite. Promise!
Of course as a vegan, I have absolutely no need or use for poultry so I focus on building pasta dishes around a variety of vegetables. The yellow squash at Fresh Thyme looked divine and added such a lovely mixture of color to the dish. In total, the pasta used: red onion, red pepper, yellow squash, spinach, basil, capers and lemon. (I did also buy a pint of cherry tomatoes but totally spaced and forgot to use them. Although, I think they’ll be a lovely addition next time.)
The Mediterranean pasta is jam-packed with nutrients and is a beautiful mishmash of color to decorate your plate. Pasta being pasta, feel free to use whatever form of pasta you prefer…but I went with my favorite penne. As it boiled away with some olive oil, I set out to saute my beautiful vegetables.
The capers are definitely a key source of flavor. They bring such saltiness and zing to the dish. Of course, I didn’t just rely on the capers and lemon. There are loads of freshly ground black pepper, some red pepper flakes, roasted red pepper powder, thyme and even a dash of paprika. To round it all off, there was fresh garlic, basil and lemon to bring everything together.
I do love experimenting in the kitchen and developing different flavor combinations. I’d recommend just playing around until you feel satisfied. As I said, the dish is vegan and absolutely does not require meat. It will power you up very nicely.
The end result? Glorious! The Mediterranean pasta was so delicious I had to virtually fight myself off from a third serving. I was able to have some leftovers that worked very well when reheated later. I also theorize that the pasta will be very delicious served chilled at a cookout this summer. Yum, yum.
Vegan Mediterranean Pasta with Lemons and Capers
1 Package of Pasta (I used a Penne from Fresh Thyme)
Approx 1/2-3/4 cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 of a Purple Onion, Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2-3 Medium-Sized Yellow Squash, Sliced
2 Red Peppers, Diced
1 Jar Capers
1 Bunch of Spinach, Chopped
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Juice of 1 Lemon
1. Boil penne pasta for 9-10 minutes with olive oil.
2. Dice red onion and garlic. Saute in olive oil with fresh ground pepper over medium-high heat. Approximately 3 minutes.
3. Dice red peppers into cube size pieces and slice yellow squash. Add to garlic and onion mixture and saute for 4 minutes.
4. Add your spices (red pepper flakes, red pepper powder, smoked paprika and sage) to the vegetables and stir. Cook for 1 minute.
5. Drain (but don’t rinse) your jar of capers add to your vegetable mixture with the minced fresh basil.
6. Add about 1/4 of the boiling pasta water to your vegetables and let simmer with vegetables for 2 minutes.
7. Stir in the rinsed and chopped spinach, until it wilts.
8. Add the juice of one lemon and thoroughly stir your vegetable mixture.
9. Combine your vegetable mixture with the cooked and drained penne pasta. Add about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil, toss well.
10. Serve and enjoy!
As always, stay stylish and keep chasing your dreams!