This creamy gluten free vegetable pasta recipe is easy to prepare and tastes so different to the normal favourite, which is normally pasta with homemade tomato sauce.
The taste is a lovely blend between the slightly sweet creaminess, touch of spice and bite of the vegetables.
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Is Pasta Healthy?
Back in the 90’s, when I lived in Italy (and for many years after), I loved pasta so much I was addicted to it! I adored the stuff. I would eat it with olive oil and garlic, homemade pesto, homemade tomato sauce, or with vegetables. My favourite was olive oil, garlic and chilli.
In Italy, pasta’s eaten as a starter, which means that it’s just a relatively small (though none the less important!) part of a full and varied diet. However, if you eat a great big plate of pasta on its own as your main meal, then it isn’t a balanced meal and it isn’t supplying you with many nutrients.
Plus, it’s a well known fact that full grain pasta is healthier for you than white, refined pasta.
But the white tastes the best, right? Well, don’t despair, as long as you eat it in moderation and include a large range of variety in your diet, white pasta can be part of a healthy lifestyle. But let’s not get carried away and live off pasta.
What Type of Gluten Free Pasta to Use?
After becoming gluten free (because of developing an intolerance to gluten) the one thing which didn’t live up to my expectations was pasta. I was so disappointed by gluten free pasta, I virtually gave up eating it.
Most gluten free pastas are a different texture to wheat pasta: less chewy, and not only easy to overcook and go mushy but also useless to eat the next day. Gluten free pasta, quite simply is not so addictive as wheat pasta!
But over the years I’ve discovered better gluten free alternatives, so here they are.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the various options available to you if you’re looking to substitute pasta with one of the gluten free options.
White Gluten Free Pasta for Creamy Vegetable Pasta
Plain white gluten free pasta can be made (among others) from maize flour, rice flour, quinoa flour or a blend of all three.
Unfortunately you can’t tell which gluten free pasta will have an amazing flavour from reading these ingredients: the taste varies from brand to brand even with similar sounding ingredients.
Some of the tastiest gluten free white pasta I’ve had was from Waitrose and Marks & Spencer in the Uk.
However, I live in Spain and generally, where I live, I find the white gluten free pasta disappointing so I don’t bother to buy it anymore. It just doesn’t compete with my memory of ‘normal’ pasta so I prefer to go for a more nutrient-dense option and with a higher protein profile.
Plus these more nutritious variations have a different flavour, but at least they do have flavour!
Lentil Pasta forCreamy Vegetable Pasta
My number one choice of gluten free pasta is lentil pasta because not only is it tasty but it’s also full of nutrition and high in protein, with roughly double the protein content to normal pasta. It’s also lower in carbohydrates and higher in fibre, making it a filling option that can help control cravings and appetite.
It isn’t the same as non gluten free pasta, but that’s just a fact you have to accept when you go gluten free!
Buckwheat Pasta forCreamy Vegetable Pasta
Nutritionally, buckwheat pasta is higher fibre than refined pasta and contains more vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy option.
Chickpea Pasta forCreamy Vegetable Pasta
Chickpea pasta has a great taste and nutritional profile, being another higher protein, gluten free option. I love the taste of it but the texture is very ‘short’ so you need to eat it with a different expectation. Don’t expect the rubbery texture of normal pasta.
I like to cook a mix of two types of pasta together, say chickpea and lentil or lentil and buckwheat.
Quinoa Pasta forCreamy Vegetable Pasta
You may be wondering about quinoa pasta, given the high profile of quinoa in a healthy diet.
Quinoa is a pseudo cereal which has gained fame for its impressive health-giving properties. It contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a great a source of complete protein for vegans. And there’s no doubt about it, quinoa is a delicious, healthy option in our diet.
But, and there is a huge BUT . . . don’t mistake ‘quinoa’ with ‘quinoa pasta!’ When you buy quinoa pasta, it may have just a little bit of quinoa added to the ingredient list in order to be advertised as quinoa pasta while in actual fact it is 3/4 maize and rice flour.
So while the idea of quinoa pasta sounds healthy and delicious, you’ll need to check the ingredient list before you start jumping for joy. I have yet to find a decent quinoa pasta to recommend.
How to Make the Sauce forCreamy Vegetable Pasta
Finely chop an onion, 3 cloves of garlic & 1 small chilli, and fry them in a little olive oil.
After 5 minutes, add some chopped courgette & green pepper, followed by broccoli florets. Let each veg cook for a little while before adding the next.
You can either add some fresh basil to the sauce or sprinkle it with dried basil, origano, or herbs of your choice.
Once all the veggies are in the pan, and have been cooking for about 10 minutes, add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for a few more minutes.
Chop up a tomato and add it to the pan. After a couple of minutes, sprinkle with salt and pour in 1 glass of dry white wine (optional). Add a dash of gluten free soy sauce and 1 whole carton of gluten free vegan cream.
Taste the sauce and check the levels of salt, pepper, chilli and soy sauce, and adjust according to your taste.
Meanwhile, cook the lentil and chickpea pasta in a separate pan for 8-9 minutes or until al-dente. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the creamy vegetables.
Top with homemade vegan parmesan or plain nutritional yeast, ground flax or a drizzle of tahini. Yummm.
Gluten Free Vegan Carbonara-Style PastaCourse: Main courseCuisine: Italian InspiredDifficulty: Easy
This creamy, slightly spicy, creamy vegetable pasta, tastes great with gluten free pasta made from lentils, chickpeas or buckwheat. Feel free to vary the vegetables in the sauce to suit what you have to hand.
1 finely chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 small chilli
1 small courgette
1/2 chopped green pepper
Fresh basil, dried oregano or herbs of choice
Dash of gluten free soy sauce
1 carton vegan cream
Olive oil for cooking
1/2 glass of dry white wine
Nutritional yeast, homemade parmesan &/or ground flax for serving
Tahini for serving
- Fry the chopped onion, finely chopped garlic and 1 small chilli in a little olive oil
- Add the chopped courgette and green pepper and then, after a few minutes, the broccoli florets. When they’ve cooked half through, add the sliced mushrooms.
- Add half a glass of dry white wine and simmer (optional).
- Sprinkle with salt & oregano or fresh basil and add a dash of gluten free soy sauce.
- When cooked, pour in a carton of vegan cream and stir to heat through.
- Heat the whole sauce through and taste to check the levels of salt, herbs, soy sauce and chilli.
- Either mix through the pasta or serve on top of the pasta – as in the images.
- Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and enjoy!
- If you cook the pasta while you’re cooking the veggies, the whole meal can be ready in 20 minutes, or 15 if you cook the veggies al-dente and crunchy. Otherwise, allow 30 minutes from start to finish.
If you like this creamy vegetable pasta recipe, please leave me a comment or come over and connect on instagram @loveveganliving!