Creamy Dreamy Roasted Red Capsicum Pasta
Just wondering, is there anyone out there that genuinely enjoys green capsicums (bell peppers)? I would LOVE to know. There's not very many plant foods I dislike, but green capsicums I just don't know about them. To me, they truly just taste like nothing...anyone resonating with this?!
My capsicum color rating:
TOP CHOICE - Red
2nd - Yellow
3rd - Orange
4th - Green
Sorry green, it's nothing personal...
Bright and vibrant red capsicums are the choice for this sauce recipe. It's savoury with a touch of sweetness and soaked cashews bring out the creamiest texture in the sauce. I have, on more than one occasion, simply spooned the sauce out of the blender and eaten it. Unashamed.
I always like to keep my recipes simple with easy to find or on hand ingredients, and this one definitely abides to those rules. I wouldn't be surprised if you had majority of these ingredients in your pantry ready to go! When I know I'm going to make this dish for dinner one week, I usually only need to grab the capsicums on my shopping trip.
The pepper slices get so nice and smoky in the oven, with that just so amount of char that gives the sauce that nice savoury punch. But there's still a gentle sweetness that emerges from them as well that rounds out the bite perfectly.
If you're wanting to add a bit of protein to the dish, I sometimes pair it with crispy roasted salt and pepper chickpeas (easy to bake at the same time as the capsicum) or I'll crumble up some vegan sausages and sauté those on the stove to make it a more hearty meal. My fave vegan sausage for this one is definitely Field Roast's Italian sausage (not GF) - check their website for stockists in your area! For GF I would prefer Suzy Spoon's Sun dried Tomato & Polenta sausage. Not a necessity by any means, but a nice addition from time to time.
I also love to stir through some type of leafy green. Spinach or Tuscan kale is always my preference! The kale has a bit more texture and gives a nice bite in contrast with the creaminess.
As always, I'm a garnish fan. Hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds are my faves for this! Also some fresh basil if you have it on hand is lovely.
The sauce keeps very well in the fridge or freezer, too. Making a big/double batch is never a bad idea! Then you have it easily accessible to reheat for leftovers or for dinner the next night because it's so damn good. I sometimes have leftover sauce as a dip with crackers or veggies!
Of course this dish is gluten free optional - simply just pair the sauce with your preferred GF pasta.
CREAMY DREAMY ROASTED RED CAPSICUM PASTA (vegan)
-pasta of choice (enough for the amount of humans you're serving)
-4 medium red capsicums or 2 large ones, roughly sliced
-2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
-2 tbsp olive oil
-salt & pepper to taste
-1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes (enough water to just cover the cashews)
-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
-3 cups leafy green of choice
-optional protein: vegan sausage or crispy baked chickpeas
-optional garnishes: fresh basil, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
Roughly slice your washed capsicums, and add to a large mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil, dried Italian seasoning and S&P to coat evenly.
Add the slices to a lined baking tray, slightly spaced a part to give some breathing room. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until there's a nice char on them (but not burnt!)
While the peppers are baking, cook your pasta according to packaging. Drain, rinse with a bit of water (to prevent sticking if cooked a fair bit ahead of time) and set aside.
During this time you can also prepare your sausages if you're including them!
To make the sauce: add soaked cashews (+ water they're in!), baked peppers, nutritional yeast, and 1/2 cup of water to a high powered blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy! The sauce should be thick but easily pourable from the jug. Add water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
Add sauce to the original pasta pot on low heat. Add pasta to the sauce + greens of choice. Stir to mix through completely.
To plate, add pasta to a bowl. Top with optional protein/garnishes, and enjoy! If you didn't use all of the sauce, store it in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days or alternatively in the freezer.
As always, if you make this don't forget to tag me on IG so I can see your creation! @shaktifresh <3