Creamy Vegan Red Lentil Pasta Primavera - Healthy and delicious red lentil pasta filled with healthy vegetables and coated with creamy cashew tomato sauce that's out of the world! This creamy pasta primavera is easy, simple, vegan, and gluten-free.
Are you looking for a quick, easy, and healthy pasta dinner that can be whipped up in no time? Well, look no further! This creamy vegan pasta primavera is exactly that!
What is pasta primavera?
"Primavera" means "Spring-style" in Italian. So it's a pasta dish with vegetables like squash, carrot, bell pepper, and broccoli. Because of its name, many people believe that pasta primavera is an Italian dish. But it was originated in New York City in the 1970s!
Ingredients in Creamy Vegan Red Lentil Pasta Primavera
- Vegetables - I use colorful and delicious vegetables like sun-dried tomato, garlic, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes.
- Pasta - I use red lentil pasta in this dish. So it's completely gluten-free and high in protein.
- Creamy sauce - I blend cashew and tomato paste to create a delicious and velvety sauce.
Red lentil pasta & Other gluten-free pasta options
About Red lentil pasta
Red lentil pasta has one single ingredient - red lentil. It is a great source of natural protein and fiber. I find red lentil pasta to have the most similar texture and taste to regular pasta.
However, not all red lentil pasta is created equal. Some brand tastes significantly better and have a better texture than others. Barilla Red Lentil Penne Pasta is one of the most popular kinds. But I like Fusilli red lentil pasta from Bioitalia better. Bioitalia's red lentil pasta has a strikingly similar taste and texture to regular pasta. The only downside is most stores don't carry this brand and you most likely have to order them online.
Other gluten-free pasta options
As the demands for gluten-free pasta options increase, it is easy to find alternatives to regular pasta. So far, I have tried the following.
- Chickpea pasta
- Brown rice pasta
- Quinoa pasta
- Cassava pasta
All these different options offers great nutritional value but I personally like the taste and texture of red lentil pasta the best.
- Use the oil from your sun-dried tomato as a base to saute the minced garlic. This oil already packs a serious amount of flavor and you should take full advantage of it.
- If you are not using a high-speed blender, you can soak your raw cashew in water for 4 hours or up to overnight.
- If you are using a high-speed blender, you can use hot water to blend the cashew and tomato paste together. In this case, you don't have to soak the cashew.
- Adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding vegetable broth.
How to customize Creamy Vegan Red Lentil Pasta Primavera
- Use whatever vegetables you have on hand - Baby spinach, carrot, broccoli, asparagus, and yellow squash are all great options for this pasta.
- If you are not sensitive to gluten, feel free to use regular pasta. My sister, who beta tested this recipe, tried it with regular bow tie pasta and she absolutely loved it!
- If you are not vegan, use half-and-half in your sauce. Instead of blending cashew, water, and tomato paste together, you can just add about 1 cup of half-and-half and tomato paste to the sauce.
- Bulk up the pasta by adding a toast, side salad, or protein of your choice.
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Vegan Creamy Pasta Primavera (gluten-free)
Healthy and delicious red lentil pasta filled with healthy vegetables and coated with creamy cashew tomato sauce that's out of the world! This creamy pasta primavera is easy, simple, vegan, and gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: Serve 4
- Category: Main course
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 box of red lentil pasta, cooked according to its package
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato in olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ large onion, diced
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 1 small size zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomato
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ⅓ cup raw cashew (see the note)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup to 1 cup vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the red lentil pasta according to its package.
- Meanwhile, start cooking the minced garlic with sun-dried tomato in olive oil in the skillet. When the garlic starts to smell fragrant, add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, cherry tomato, and dried basil. Cook for 5 minutes with frequent stirring.
- In a high-speed blender, blend raw cashew, hot water, and tomato paste until smooth.
- Add the cashew tomato cream sauce to the mixture in the pan. Stir to mix everything together.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce
- Add the vegetable broth until it reaches the consistency you desire.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- I highly recommend using the olive oil in the sun-dried tomato to cook your minced garlic. It will create a great depth of flavor.
- If you don't have a high-speed blender, soak your raw cashew for at least 4 hours and up to overnight in the fridge to create a smooth creamy sauce.
- If you are not vegan and don't care for cashew cream, you can use half-and-half.
- Please refer to the "Helpful tips" and "How to customize" sections above for more information.
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