Creating delicious restaurant-style dishes in your kitchen isn't difficult. And my Vegetarian Pasta in a red sauce is a great weeknight meal that can be on your table in under an hour. It's a delicious way to use up the vegetables you have on hand.
Have you ever had Vegetarian Pasta in a red sauce? Finding delicious meatless recipes can be challenging but when you think like a restaurant chef, you’ll see just how easy it is to make delicious vegetarian dishes!
It comes down to classic flavors for my pasta dish and if your familiar with classic Italian recipes you’ll see some of the similarities in the ingredients I used for this dish.
What ingredients do I need to make a Restaurant Style Vegetarian Pasta Dish?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Restaurant Style Vegetarian Pasta in a Red Sauce. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the up cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Since we’re making a tomato based sauce I added two more nightshade vegetables, eggplant and peppers. The other vegetables I used in this dish were mushrooms, zucchini, onions, artichokes and olives (green and kalamata).
If you’re not fond of any of these ingredients, feel free to leave them out and replace them with your favorite vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, spinach (or other greens) and asparagus would make nice additions to this dish. You could also add capers or anchovies to change up the flavor.
What Are Nightshade Vegetables?
Nightshade is the botanical classification for plants in the Solanaceae family. These include tomatoes, eggplant, peppers (hot and bell) and white potatoes. These vegetables share genetic ties with a toxic specie, belladonna, which is known as deadly nightshade. But these vegetables tend are familiar to a lot of cooking styles from around the world, and are known as a low calorie, high-nutrient foods. Which is good.
Why are they called nightshade vegetables? There is no definitive explanation although it was once believed that these plants grew in the shade.
How do I make Vegetarian Pasta?
The first step is to sauté the eggplant. Always add ingredients into a dish based on the amount of time they take to cook. Eggplant takes the longest so we start by sautéing the eggplant in olive oil for about 5 minutes over high heat.
When the eggplant has been nicely seared, add the mushrooms, onions, peppers and garlic. Continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
When those vegetables have been nicely cooked, add in the zucchini. Allow this to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
The last step is adding in the tomatoes, olives, artichokes, basil and seasonings. Mix all the ingredients together and let the sauce come to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
The sauce can simmer a little longer, but the real improvement will be the next day after the flavors have had time to build. The sauce is excellent the day you make it.
It’s a flavorful fresh pasta sauce, but it will be a little richer after sitting in your fridge overnight.
Wouldn’t your family love to sit down to this deliciousness? It’s a perfect meal for Meatless Monday or any day of the week!
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