This post is sponsored by Explore Cuisine, all opinions are my own.
This past summer I shared a Puglia-inspired recipe. It was a Broccolini & lentil penne dish and you may have noticed it did not include a sauce. Well, as I continue to learn more about Italian cuisine I decided to take a stab at a red sauce. Specifically, this recipe is a red vegan sauce inspired by ragu.
Ragu is typically made with meat which provides flavor but also protein. Protein is a very important macronutrient for making you feel satiated. However, since I wanted to enjoy this sauce with the Explore Cuisine Chickpea Fusilli which contains a hearty 13 grams of protein per 2 Oz serving I decided to make a vegan sauce.
Similar to a ragu this red sauce has carrots, onions, celery and little red wine (optional). I added in some mushrooms and a bell pepper to the mix but you can add other vegetables like zucchini. To save time I used canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes but I guarantee you the flavor is still amazing.
For this recipe I chose to use fusilli since I felt like the twists would work well with the thick ragu-style sauce. You should know though that Explore Cuisine has several types of pastas including the red lentil penne I used in my previous pasta recipe and their black bean spaghetti. All their products are organic, non-GMO, gluten-Free, and vegan. If you are looking to add more plant protein to your diet you should try some of their pastas.
YOU CAN WIN A TRIP TO ITALY
Explore Cuisine is running a challenge where the grand-prize will be selected to win a trip for two to explore Italy. This challenge runs through November 2019. There will also be monthly winners who will receive prizes featuring kitchen gadgets and Explore Cuisine products. To enter the challengeo share your Italian recipes using the #PastaPioneerChallenge on social media. Check out the @explorecuisine IG page or visit www.explorecuisine.com for more details.
Let’s get cooking! This recipe uses simple wholesome ingredients and will take you no more than 15 to 20 minutes to cook. If you want to shave off a few minutes, you can try to strascicate the pasta. This is a Florentine method of cooking pasta, where the pasta is only partially cooked then dragged in the sauce to complete the cooking process. This results in the pasta absorbing more of the flavor as it cooks.
Prep Time: 5 minutes . Cook Time: 15-20 minutes . Serves 4
1 Box Explore Cuisine Chickpea Fusilli Chickpea
1 29 Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 Medium Carrot
1 Stalk Celery
1 Red Bell Pepper
8 Oz Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Medium Yellow Onion
4 Cloves Garlic
2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Red Wine (optional)
1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. Add carrot, celery stalk bell pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor. Blend until finely chopped.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pot.
4. Add remaining oil to skillet. Add chopped vegetables; cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
5. Return cooked mushrooms to skillet. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and red wine (optional). Bring the pot to a low simmer. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes; stir occasionally.
6. Toss your cooked pasta in the sauce or top pasta with sauce upon serving.