I was traveling recently and on a plane coming back to Austin from Ukraine. The plane served a pasta meal with veggies, tomato sauce, ground beef and cheese on top. While this looked like a great meal (as far as airplane food goes, anyway), I thought to myself, “I can make a much better vegan version of this!” So I decided that when I got home I would construct my own delicious pasta dish with tomato sauce and veggies.
This recipe ended up working great for several reasons: It was easy to prepare as you can use tomato sauce from the store and/or frozen pre-chopped veggies, and the meal stores great in the fridge! I was able to separate it out in little containers and eat it throughout the week for my lunches. The pasta, veggies, and sauce all kept fresh without getting the pasta mushy or hard (as some pastas do when stored in the fridge), and the addition of fresh basil on top kept the meal smelling delicious!
This was enough for 5 servings, which is perfect to eat throughout the week. you can also mix up your veggies and use different kinds, it’s really up to you!
So without further ado…let us begin!
You will need
- 2 cartons of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 package gluten free pasta of your choice (12 ounces)
- 1 package (8 oz) organic bella mushrooms
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 package (.75 oz or 21 g) fresh basil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 jar of organic, low-sodium tomato sauce or
- 3 cups your choice of crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons of water or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow or orange sweet pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red sweet pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 tsp basil
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Put the water on to boil, and while you are waiting, begin chopping the vegetables (If you are using frozen vegetables, skip this step).
Dice all the vegetables and set aside to cook. Add a tablespoon of water or coconut oil to your pan, and begin by cooking the onion and garlic together on medium high heat. Next add the mushrooms, then the zucchini, and lastly the sweet peppers. Add the basil, salt and pepper. Saute on medium high and then medium heat until the vegetables reach your desired consistency. I personally prefer the vegetables to have some crunch to them, so I only saute for about 5 minutes total. You can add more water or coconut oil as needed.
During this time, you will have added the pasta to boiling water. While waiting for the pasta to cook, take out another saucepan and add in the tomato sauce. Simmer on medium low heat for the duration of the time. This will help thicken the sauce and take out that “canned” or “stored” taste. You can also add a bay leaf, some dried basil, or any other herbs you want.
If you have timed everything right, the noodles and veggies should be done cooking around the same time. When this happens, remove the veggies from the pan and add to a bowl. Rinse out the noodles and put aside to plate. Turn off the heat from the tomato sauce.
Take out a bowl, add the pasta, then the tomato sauce and top with your vegetables and fresh sprig of basil. You will have a lot of vegetables left over, so you can eat them as a side, or mix them in with your pasta dish. Serve, and eat!
You can store this dish in the fridge in a container exactly as it’s shown in this photo. The sauce will keep very well and the noodles store nicely.
As an added bonus, you can use some vegan cheese and/or nutritional yeast to top your pasta dish with, as a substitute for Parmesan cheese. I used Daiya vegan cheese, as pictured below.