When I first became vegetarian, all I ate was pasta! I quickly realized that having a million carbs in the place of meat probably wasn’t the answer (my pants started to feel the same way). =) Since then, I’ve changed my ways and I only eat pasta once every couple weeks. The other day, I was looking at the recipes on my website and realized there are hardly any pasta recipes here (!) so I decided to immediately get into my kitchen and cook up a healthy pasta recipe- one that you don’t have to feel guilty about- and amazingly vegan! I also threw in some spinach, fennel and tomatoes, since it’s impossible for me to make a meal without adding in some veggies. I mean… I am the “Veggie Chick”.
To start, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup water.
While the pasta cooks, you can prepare the tomatoes. I like to use Nature Sweet Cherubs brand. In Michigan, it’s difficult to find good looking/tasting tomatoes in the winter, but the Cherubs brand is always so good! How do they do that?! So take those (hopefully) beautiful tomatoes, and cut them in half. Put them into an oven-safe dish, mixed in with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Broil on high on the top rack for 5-8 minutes or until just starting to brown. All ovens vary a little with broiling so make sure you check them every couple minutes so they don’t burn. Note: Make sure you don’t forget them in the oven while doing a photo shoot and scorch the heck out of them, then have to drive back to the store to get more tomatoes- like someone I know…. =)
Cut up the shallots, garlic, and fennel. If you’ve never had fennel, it’s super tasty when cooked! If you eat it raw, it tastes like black licorice (ick!), but when cooked, it has a much sweeter taste. Below is a photo of a fennel bulb. For this recipe, remove the top green parts, and the very bottom hard part. Slice the bulb into vertical, thin strips.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add shallots and vegan butter. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fennel and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the 1/2 cup reserved water, 1/2 cup of Chardonnay and the spinach leaves. Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; stir. Simmer for 5 more minutes. As the spinach warms, it will start to wilt so don’t worry, you’ll end up with much less than it looks! A lot of times, I actually end up adding more.
Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and pasta. Stir to combine. Top with the tomatoes and serve.
I’m in love with all the colors in this recipe, not to mention the amazing flavors!Print
Spinach & Fennel Fettuccine with Roasted Tomatoes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4
- 9 ounces spinach fettuccine, or gluten free if desired
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (Earth Balance)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups fennel bulb, sliced into small strips vertically
- 1/2 cup Chardonnay or dry wine
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Set broiler to high heat.
- Cook fettuccine according to package directions and drain, reserving 1 cup water.
- Place tomatoes in a small baking dish. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and broil on high for 5-8 minutes until brown, checking frequently.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots and Earth Balance butter and cook for 2 minutes. Add fennel and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Reduce heat to medium, add 1/2 cup reserved water, 1/2 cup Chardonnay and spinach leaves. Add salt, pepper and red pepper and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice and pasta. Stir to combine. Top with tomatoes and serve.