Herbed Pasta Florentine

My husband and I have been traveling so much for work lately that our fridge has been fairly bare.  I didn’t want to order out and I sure as heck wasn’t going to venture to the grocery store in rush hour with kids in tow to try to put together a family dinner.  The alternative?  I took a quick look at the few things we had in our fridge and pantry, then threw together a meal on the fly.  Sometimes the unplanned really surprises you!  It has carbs, is creamy and garlicky, has the brightness of fresh herbs, and the smokiness of roasted tomatoes…so pretty much the best of all worlds.  Add some vegan bacon and you’ve got a pasta carbonara!  Pair with some garlic bread and you’re in garlic-carb heaven!

Alt=”Herbed Pasta Florentine”

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces penne, uncooked
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cubes Edward and Sons Not-Chicken Bouillon, (or your favorite bouillon cubes)
  • 20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon earth balance
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add 6 cups of water and 4 bouillon cubes to a medium pot and bring to a boil. When boiling vigorously, add the pasta and reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally.

3. In a medium bowl, toss halved tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, liquid smoke, and salt. Once the oven is preheated, place the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes until they begin to break down, flipping halfway through. Turn the oven to a high broil and brown for 2-4 minutes until a small char is achieved.

4. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance and increase heat to medium high. Add minced garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped sage, rosemary, and thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes.

5. Monitor pasta to see when the desired texture is achieved then remove from heat. Do not drain. Add 1.5 cups of the boiling broth to the frying pan along with the spinach and nutritional yeast. Sauté until spinach is wilted and the sauce becomes creamy. Remove from heat.

6. Drain the remaining pasta. Add the pasta and roasted tomatoes to the frying pan and toss to coat. Serve.

Alt=”Herbed Pasta Florentine”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach Pesto

I created this recipe on accident.  I was at home with two sick kids, was running low on groceries…and time according to whines of being hungry, and was out of ideas.  I stood in my kitchen and looked around and hallelujah, there was a beautiful spaghetti squash.  I was an hour away from a healthy meal.

To curb the whining, I asked my two year old to help me make the sauce.  He pushed a chair up to the counter with an adorable smile and we were in business.  I grabbed the rest of our leftover spinach, the olive oil, and some garlic.  We tasted as we went adding some salt, nutritional yeast, and pine nuts.  It was a hit!  “More!  More!  More!” was all I heard for five minutes.  (We are working on the please and thank you’s).  If the portions are a bit off on this recipe, forgive me, I can’t be sure how much he ate before we finished.

I am thrilled how the pesto turned out.  It is creamy, rich, salty, cheesy, and super easy to make.  Just toss it all in the food processor and voila, a yummy sauce in minutes.  Use it over pasta, as a spread, or as a pizza sauce.  The best part is, the kids will love it and have no clue it’s spinach.  And when used in this recipe over spaghetti squash, they get double the veggies.

Notes:  The pesto recipe makes enough for one half of the spaghetti squash.  Double the recipe to make enough for the entire squash or set aside (or freeze) half of the squash for another recipe.  Half of the squash makes two large bowls or four small bowls of ‘pasta’.

Ingredients:

‘Pasta’

  • 1 large spaghetti squash

Pesto:

  • 3 oz spinach, fresh, rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, (substitute cashews or peanuts if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut spaghetti squash in half long ways and brush the inside of each half with olive oil.  Place cut sides down on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.  Scoop out the tender squash with a fork and place in a bowl.  Season with a few pinches of salt.
  2. To make the pesto, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend for two minutes.
  3. Combine half of the squash with the pesto.  I like to serve with garlic bread.

(Serves 2-4)

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach Pesto Recipe Card

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!