aka the dish to make for when you want veggies, but mostly want pasta.
When I created this recipe I was just having a day. The kind of day where you know veggies will make your body feel good, but the one where you know pasta is pretty much the only meal you can realistically get behind. You know it, I know it – pasta is just one of those soul-warming, comforting, *there’s no way I can just eat one bowl* kind of dishes.
I love vegetables and am pretty sure (like at least 87% sure) that I have always loved them (I don’t know, mom? Can you confirm?) but on this day when I knew in my gut that I wanted both vegetables and pasta, the absolute last thing that I wanted to was compromise on either one of those. And with that, my Spicy Garlic Vegetable Pasta, was born.
I’m not kidding when I say I literally just gave it this name because so far I have simply been referring to it as: “the pasta recipe for when you want veggies but mostly want pasta.” Which doesn’t really fit any type of word constraints but….I digress.
This pasta is made just with a bit of olive oil, and gets a lot of its flavor from the caramelized onions and garlic. With plenty of crushed red pepper flakes (if you fancy the spice!), cracked black pepper, sea salt, and oregano, it is simply the easiest pasta dish to whip up and uses ingredients you probably already have stocked in your kitchen. As I love to say — simple and real ingredients are best!
This is a vegan and gluten-free recipe as I use Banza Chickpea Pasta (absolutely love it!), but you can of course feel free to use whatever pasta you have in your pantry, or one that you like the best.
This is an absolutely amazing recipe to meal prep for lunches or dinners as well. Delicious served warm or even as a cold, plant-based pasta salad!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, and if you make it – please tag me on Instagram @DADAEATS so I can see your creations!! xx
Spicy Garlic Vegetable Pasta (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
for when you want veggies, but mostly want pasta.
- 1 box gluten-free pasta of choice I love Banza’s chickpea pasta, but feel free to use your favorite pasta here.
- 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, roughly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 zucchini
- 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- red chili pepper flakes, to taste
- dried oregano, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
Boil pasta of choice. While pasta is cooking, heat 3-4 tbsp of olive oil in a deep skillet.
When oil is hot, toss in chopped onions. Sauté until onions are translucent.
When onions become slightly translucent, add sliced garlic. Sauté until onions and garlic are both golden brown. When they become nice and golden, season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and chili flakes. You will be seasoning throughout the entire cooking process, so season to taste!
Slice up your zucchini while the onions and garlic are browning, and add to the pan. You will need to cook the zucchini until it is nice and soft, so I like to add a ladle of pasta water into the pan at this time too. Season again with salt, pepper, chili, and oregano. If you aren’t crazy about spice, then you don’t have to go as wild on the chili flakes as I do!
When the zucchini is tender, toss in halved grape tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes become soft. Season again.
Add tomato paste.
Keep an eye on your pasta to see if it is done to your desired consistency. When it is, drain it, but reserve about 1/3 cup of the pasta water to add to your skillet of vegetables. Add that pasta water to the veggies now. Season again!
Now, add your pasta of choice into the pan of vegetables. Toss it around until the vegetables are mixed in well with the pasta. Season!
Last thing to add – spinach! Roughly chop about two cups of spinach (more or less to your liking, remember it will wilt) and let cook until spinach just wilts.
Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, to your liking. Serve hot, or as a cold pasta salad the next day!
Guess I messed up the first time as we really can’t stop eating it! One batch is plenty for 2 dinners for two people and a bit left for lunch too!
I did add a bit of grated romano cheese to mine, in honor of my Italian heritage. We loved it with the cheese but it is amazing without it too. Do not skimp on the EVOO. It makes the texture perfect. We used whole wheat spiral pasta.