Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegan Pasta Sostanza (Carrabba's Inspired)

Vegan Pasta Sostanza 
(Carrabba's Inspired)
Going out to dinner is great, it means you don't have to cook or do the dishes but sometimes we crave those restaurant favorites all the time and don't want to pay those prices all the time. I think recreating those meals at home can not only save you money but also be just as delish as the original dish. Carrabba's Italian Grill is a well known restaurant that has plenty of great dishes but not everything is vegan and we all want to try those great flavors...but not those none vegan ingredients. This recipe is original made up of Tagliarini (a egg noodle) with sautéed mushrooms, artichoke hearts and spinach in tomato basil sauce topped with seasoned I bring you Vegan Pasta Sostanza. Even I was surprised with the outcome of this dish compared to its original. A very hearty but light dish, made up of fresh spring ingredients. Perfect for any summer day meal! Serve with a garden salad and fresh bread and your all set for your in home tipping required! Enjoy!

Vegan Pasta Sostanza 
(Carrabba's Inspired)


-2 teaspoons olive oil
-1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
-3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

-1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powdered, to taste
-1 (28 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice

-2 cups pasta sauce, your favorite brand
-1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portabellos or 
-1 can artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
-6 very large basil leaves, julienned 

-2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
-1 Tablespoon capers (small pearl style)

-1 cup chopped or whole spinach, fresh or frozen
-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-1 Pound Pasta, I used Pici but any pasta you like

Toasted Bread Crumb Topping
-1/2 cup Italian style vegan bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
-1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
-Salt, to taste


In a medium-sized saucepan, place the olive oil and onion over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, the onions will start to get soft and translucent and just starting to caramelize. 
Add in the sliced garlic and cook 1 to 2 more minutes until it becomes fragrant.

Diced Onion 
Measured Diced Onion
Translucent Onions with Garlic

Add the diced tomatoes

Diced Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Tomatoes with Onion & Garlic
Capers, Herbs, and garlic powder and stir to combine. 

1 Tablespoon Capers 
Diced Parsley
Herbs in Sauce
Once you have stirred in those ingredients, add in the sliced mushrooms, pasta sauce, and artichoke hearts.

Mushrooms & Sauce
Added Artichokes
Add in the salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the sauce from burning.

Stewing Sauce
When the sauce is done cooking, add in the chopped spinach.

Chopped Spinach
Spinach Added to Sauce
Stir to combine and taste for seasoning and add if needed.

Added Spinach
Place the top on the sauce, turn off heat and let sit until pasta is ready. The spinach will soften and heat threw off the heat.

Finished Cooked Sauce
In a seperate pot, cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Pici Pasta
(Any pasta can be used)
Cooking Pasta
When done, drain pasta and add the drained pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine the ingredients. Serve on a plate or pasta bowl. Sprinkle each portion with the Toasted Bread Crumbs (Recipe Below) prior to serving and vegan parmesan for serving. Pairs great with a garden salad and your favorite fresh bread. Enjoy!
Toasted Breadcrumbs on top
Finished Dish
Toasted Bread Crumb Topping
In a medium-sized saute pan, add the oil. Once oil is added, add in the bread crumbs and stir to coat.

Pre-Toasted Bread Crumbs
The bread crumbs will cook quickly, you don't want to add them into a hot pan, otherwise they can burn. Stir the bread crumbs constantly. Season lightly with salt and/or pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a seperate bowl to use as needed.

Finished Bread Crumbs
Topped Pasta

Vegan Pasta Sostanza
(Carrabba's Inspired)

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