This is a delicious plant-based dish that brings together an abundance of colorful vegetables, fusilli pasta, and Italian flavors. It is high in protein, low in carbs, and so easy to make. Just cook the pasta, make a one-pot sauce, and combine the two. Besides being easy and flavorful, it is low in carbs and high in protein even though it is completely vegan!
The recipe uses Carba-Nada Reduced Carb Pasta by Al Dente Pasta Company - Fusilli. You cook it just like regular pasta, but it has as much protein as in 2 eggs, and less than half the net carbs as in regular pasta. The tomatoes, onion, and squash add antioxidants and fiber. You can feel great about what you are eating!
These are some possible variations for the recipe.
- Try it with bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, or eggplant along with or instead of the zucchini, yellow squash, or mushrooms.
- Mix in chopped spinach leaves a minute before turning off the heat.
- Add parmesan cheese when serving (if you consume dairy products).
- Stir in sliced black or kalamata olives while the vegetables are simmering.
Recipe for Plant-Based High-Protein Italian Fusilli Pasta with Summer Vegetables
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 package of Carba-Nada Reduced Carb Pasta by Al Dente Pasta Company - Fusilli
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste or Italian-seasoned tomato paste
- Salt to taste, or about 1 teaspoon
- 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 yellow zucchini or crookneck squash, finely chopped
- 8 ounces of sliced baby bella, button, or cremini mushrooms
- Optional toppings and garnishes: freshly chopped basil, fresh oregano, cashew halves
- Cook the Carba-Nada Reduced Carb Pasta by Al Dente Pasta Company - Fusilli according to the directions on the package. Boil water, add the pasta, and cook the pasta for 7 to 8 minutes or until nearly al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Set the pasta aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion, and continue to cook until the onion begins to soften, about 4 more minutes. Add the oregano and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, for another minute.
- Add the tomato paste and ½ cup of reserved pasta water. Stir them in completely and raise the heat to bring the sauce to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer it. If the sauce is too thick, add 2 tablespoons of pasta water at a time until the thickness is as desired.
- Add the chopped vegetables and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes with the pot covered. Test with a fork to check their tenderness. You can leave them a bit crunchy or let them soften more, according to your tastes.
- Get the mixing bowl with the pasta and pour the sauce into it. Toss until the pasta is coated evenly with sauce.
- Plate the pasta and sauce, and garnish as desired with items such as fresh basil and oregano or cashew halves. Serve and enjoy!