One of our Heated contributors, Sara Cagle, went to culinary school in Italy and often sends us dispatches about some of the best things she's learned and cooked. As a long-time proponent of cutting animal products out of our diets where we can, I particularly love this one. As Sara says:
"When people ask me about the best thing I learned in Italian culinary school, I’m tempted to hit ’em with a showstopper — like the beef-tongue ravioli with carrot-ginger sauce or the seared scallops with a quintet of vegetable purées. Those were great, but if I’m being honest, the thing I’m most happy to have learned is much more practical for daily cooking: The sheer number of pasta sauces that are astoundingly delicious without meat or even cheese."
She proceeds to walk us through the methods for making five kinds of sauce, each based on a different key ingredient: 1) Greens. 2) Nuts. 3) Greens plus nuts. 4) Broth. 5) Beans. I've cooked countless variations of these dishes over the years, and can tell you that they're not the kind of vegan recipes that feel like a sacrifice in any way. They're flat out delicious and just so happen to not contain any animal products; they also all feel hearty and substantial, meaning prime candidates for winter comfort cooking.
The photo above is of the greens plus nuts version (lumache with kale-almond pesto), and the rest are below. Whether you're vegan or not, I'd bet one of these five is bound to find its way into your pasta rotation.
Greens-Based: Orecchiette with Broccoli-Spinach Sauce and Garlicky Breadcrumbs
Nut-Based: Pasta With Pistachios and Orange Zest
Broth-Based: Casarecce with Cauliflower and Miso
Bean-Based: Creamy Cannellini Spaghetti
More Comforting Vegan Recipes
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.