Pasta night. One of the best nights of the week. You get carbs, which let’s face it, are amazing. You get veggies and if you’re a person who struggled to get more vegetables into your diet, homemade pasta sauce is definitely one way to get it. You get sauce, which is great. And you can take one simple vegan pasta recipe and tweak it until you have enough pasta recipes to last for months. Check out my recipe for Vegan Seafood Pasta for a new way to enjoy mushrooms and pasta! Or go with my Lemon Broccoli & Vegan Salmon Pasta recipe!
This go round, I went with something simple yet slightly different. Same red sauce only with a spicy twist. Next time I might add capers or olives or even corn to change it up a bit.
While this isn’t a one-pot dish, it is oil free and vegan, but I guess if you were determined enough it could become a one pot vegan recipe.
I know what you’re thinking, that you don’t have time to spend all night in the kitchen making your own pasta sauce. That’s what you think, and would be wrong. I’m not suggesting you go Old World Italian Nonna and boil your tomatoes and all of that, which would be awesome if you did. And if you know how, hit me up because I could definitely use some tips. I am merely suggesting that you reduce your sugar intake and guarantee you get more veggies–and thus more nutrients–in your system by doing it yourself.
I spend time in the kitchen but I am always searching for ways to minimize that time because between my clients, my side career as an independent author, my hobbies and everything else in my life, I need more time. Just like you.
So sure, when it comes to making vegan pasta sauce, I do it myself. But not all of it. I chop and saute my own vegetables which usually consist of: onions, garlic and bell peppers. Sometimes it also includes; carrots, olives, corn, fresh tomatoes, chili peppers, capers or celery.
But when it comes to tomatoes I usually leave it to the experts. What does that mean? Usually crushed tomatoes or stewed tomatoes, depending on my needs. If I’m going for a smooth-ish sauce, crushed tomatoes will do the trick. If I want chunks of tomatoes, whole, peeled tomatoes are what I use. They’re cheap and most of the work is already done, but I do recommend you compare products because these suckers can have a lot of sugar in them. A Lot.
So there you are, a few hacks to make your own vegan pasta sauce.
Which bring us to the ingredients for this spicy vegan pasta & sauce.
- Heat your pot or skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Let them cook in a dry skillet for a few minutes until they start to stick, and then add water as needed while stirring frequently.
- It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to get the mushrooms cooked properly so just add water as necessary.
- Add in onions and bell pepper, cook 5 minutes or until soft and fragrant.
- Toss in garlic & vegan mince, and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, but cook a few minutes shy so you can finish it off in the sauce. Or in the oven if you want to turn this vegan pasta dish into a vegan pasta bake. Vegan cheese optional.
- Add tomato paste and gochujang to the skillet and stir until it is well combined. Add water or tomatoes, or both, and let it come to a bowl. Reduce to a simmer and allow sauce to thicken, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Combine pasta and sauce, then serve.
**If you want to turn this into a vegan pasta bake, place into a baking dish or individual ramekins and top with cheese, baking at 200C for 10 minutes.
**Eliminate the gochujang if you don’t want a spicy red sauce.
**If you want to add more flavor or pass on any type of vegan cheese, add nutritional yeast to the sauce while it’s boiling and stir frequently.