No Cheese Please
I used to see pasta as just a vehicle for cheese. “Would you like some pasta with that cheese?” was a phrase I was very familiar with.
But since I’ve started trying to eat less dairy, and be a little healthier, I’ve been trying more and more pasta recipes that taste great without cheese.
I feel like hummus is a great replacement for cheese in my diet. It’s comfort food that feels indulgent, providing a savoury depth and satisfying texture that negates the need for melty cheese.
This recipe uses hummus to create the base of a pasta sauce which is surprisingly satisfying, simple and delicious. Hummus mixed with a little water, lemon juice and optional maple syrup or other sweetener is also a really easy vegan salad dressing – just so you know 🙂
This vegan pasta recipe takes simple ingredients that a lot of vegans will have in their cupboards and transforms them into a middle eastern carb fest.
Tangy jarred antipasti style artichokes, rich roasted garlic and lemon combine with hummus to make the sauce and a smoky nut and seed dukkah tops it all off.
The method is simple. Start by cooking some leek in a bit of oil then add kale, a jar of antipasto style artichokes and garlic followed by hummus and water. Finish with lemon juice, balsamic and a smoky, nutty dukkah for crunch.
There are countless recipes for dukkah. Just about every mixture includes nuts though (most often hazelnuts), sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin. To this, you can add your favourite dried herbs like thyme, mint, peppercorns, or various other sweet, hot, and savory herbs and spices.
I wanted mine to be simple so it doesn’t involve any blending, crushing or blitzing. I combined roasted pine nuts with onion granules, chilli flakes, onion seeds, cumin, coriander, dried thyme, dried dill, dried oregano, sesame seeds, ground flaxseeds, breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast.
To finish, I combined this with a little smoked rapeseed oil before heating and adding to the artichoke pasta.
I have quite a large collection of nuts, herbs and spices but you really don’t need to use all these. Just take your favourite nut (roasted if possible for a deeper flavour) and break up if using a larger nut like hazelnut. Then add any seeds, dried herbs or spices that you enjoy and you will have a basic dukkah. You can serve this on salads, with hummus, on pasta like this or use it to coat eggs or tofu. If you’re not a fan of spice leave the chilli flakes out.
This is not a low calorie meal but it can easily fit into the recommended daily calorie limits. The calories can be lessened by draining your antipasti artichokes before adding to the pasta. Although quite high in fat, plant oils, nuts and seeds are sources of healthy fats which the body needs.
The flaxseed and nutritional yeast are especially good for vegans as they are non-animal sources of omega 3 and vitamin B12.
Make sure to taste the pasta before you serve and tweak the seasoning/acidity. The pasta works best when the richness of the hummus contrasts with the tang of vinegar and lemon. My artichokes were very vinegary so I didn’t need to add much extra. They also came in a garlic oil which added extra flavour. Customise this recipe by using different flavoured hummus – smoked, garlic or aubergine would all work well.
If you love middle eastern flavours give these Butternut Squash, Spinach & Pine Nut Tacos With Spicy Beetroot Relish or this Halloumi Burger With Beetroot Relish & Harissa Mayo a try.
Let me know if you give this artichoke spaghetti a try or if you have any favourite dukkah combinations #preggieveggie
- 150g whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek
- 1 jar of antipasti style artichokes (200g)
- 2 handfuls of kale
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 small pot hummus (approx. 160g)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
- 1 small bunch basil (approx. 20g)
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts
- 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1 tsp onions seeds
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
- ½ tbsp. smoked oil (optional)
- Boil the pasta according to the pack instructions and set aside (save the water)
- Add the chopped leek to a pan on a medium heat with the olive oil
- Meanwhile make the dukkah
- Toast the pine nuts until golden and right at the end add the sesame seeds to the pan
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan
- Add a drizzle of oil (optional) and toast on a low heat
- Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn (heating just brings out the flavours a little more but it doesn't need to be cooked)
- Once the leek is softened, add the kale and crushed garlic and cook for a couple of minutes
- Add the artichokes (and optionally their juices/oil) and warm through
- Add the hummus then gradually add pasta water until the consistency looks sauce-like (you want it to be a little loose in the pan as it will continue to thicken when served)
- Taste the pasta and add lemon juice/balsamic to taste
- Serve with the dukkah and chopped basil on top
* Nutritional info includes artichokes in oil. If you want to lower the calories drain the artichokes before using.
* Flaxseed is a good source of Omega 3 healthy fat and nutritional yeast provides vitamin B12 which is important in vegetarian and vegan diets.