This recipe can be left as it is or used as a base recipe and a few other ingredients added. I’ve made this recipe vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and dairy-free here but you can add some steamed or grilled chicken or some bocconcini / feta or ricotta cheese to it to give it protein. If you are vegan, add some chopped grilled tofu or tempeh for protein.
(Serves about 6)
Ingredients for pasta & vegetables
- 250g dry pasta (gluten-free or regular. Increase the fibre by choosing wholemeal)
- 1 Medium eggplant, cut into 1cm circles, grilled and then cut into quarters
- 2 Medium zucchini, cut into ½cm lengthwise slices, grilled and then chopped into thirds
- 4-6 Large mushrooms, sliced, grilled
- 1 Large capsicum, cut into thin strips, grilled
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Large Spanish red onion, finely sliced
- 2 Medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 Medium fresh tomatoes, finely diced
- ½ Cup sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ Cup black olives
- 12 Fresh basil leaves, torn into thirds
- Salt to taste (I added a pinch to the boiling water for the pasta and 1 teaspoon to the vegetables
- ¼ Teaspoon cracked pepper
- Handful of raw cashews
Ingredients for pasta sauce
- 6 Medium fresh tomatoes, chopped into quarters
- 3 Medium garlic cloves, chopped in half
- 15 Fresh basil leaves (can use more)
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- ¼ Teaspoon cracked pepper
- Prepare all vegetables and grill as instructed in the ingredients listing (I used a Breville flat surface sandwich press to grill the vegetables but you can use whatever you like.
- In a large pot, bring 4 litres water with a pinch of salt to boil, add the pasta and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until cooked al dente (follow packet directions). Drain & rinse with warm water if gluten-free pasta used.
- Heat a large fry pan on medium high heat, add the oil and then the onions. Toast the onions until just golden then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the grilled vegetables, fresh tomatoes, sundered tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper, stir gently to combine. (can add steamed or grilled chicken or bocconcini / feta / ricotta cheese here if desired)
- To make sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Pour sauce on vegetable and add pasta. Stir gently to combine and allow to heat through for a few minutes. Stir in the basil leaves, taste and adjust seasoning. Once happy, remove from heat.
- Serve with grated cashews (can use parmesan or another cheese) and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
If on the Low Fodmaps diet replace garlic with garlic oil and replace onion with shallot greens. Grated macadamias can be used instead of cashews and use lactose-free cheese if wanting to use cheese and cheese is a problem food. You can also throw some pine nuts through this vegetable mix.