Smoky Pasta with Peas & Greens – Simple Vegetarian Pasta Dish with Smoked Paprika and Spices
This quick and simple vegetarian pasta dish has become a favorite in my home. I absolutely love cooking with smoked paprika, as you may have learned by now, and I figured – why not add it to pasta too? The smoky effect is somewhat like a vegetarian version of Pasta Carbonara. Add some onion, peas and a handful of greens and you’ve got yourself a tasty, colorful meal in no time at all. I think the peppery flavor of arugula works really well here, but spinach is also a nice twist. I’m always trying to work extra greens into my meals, and here they blend in nicely.
You can easily adapt this recipe for a dairy free or vegan diet by using a vegan butter substitute (like Earth Balance) and omitting the Parmesan. If vegetarian, make sure you use a Parmesan cheese with a vegetarian rennet. For gluten free, use a gluten free spaghetti– I like Organic Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti. It digests more slowly than wheat pasta and I notice it doesn’t give me that big-energy-then-crash feeling like wheat pasta sometimes does. The flavor and texture is remarkably similar to traditional pasta, though it does take a few minutes longer to cook. It works great in this recipe. Of course, you may also use traditional wheat pasta if you prefer. Enjoy!
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Smoky Pasta with Peas and Greens
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into thin strips
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (you may substitute vegetable or mushroom stock)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons butter (use non-dairy butter substitute for vegan)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 3/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 2 cups arugula or spinach, packed
- Parmesan (optional topping - omit for vegan, or use Parmesan with vegetarian rennet for vegetarian)
- Cook pasta in salted water to desired doneness according to directions. I start by cooking the pasta just past al dente, but not completely soft, because it continues to cook later in the process. To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten free pasta and make sure all packaged ingredients are certified GF.Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan, then sauté the onions over medium heat until very soft and lightly browned. Add the white wine, lemon juice, butter, water, spices, salt and peas. Reduce heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Add pasta to the pan, stir to coat the pasta with sauce and mix in the peas.
- Place the greens on top of the pasta, then cover the pan.
- Cook until pasta is heated through and greens begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Stir the wilted greens gently into the pasta.
- Serve warm, topped with grated parmesan if desired. Serving suggestion - reserve some fresh greens to decorate your plate for a pretty presentation.