I like orecchiette pasta in this recipe, but any pasta shape will do! Cook whichever variety you choose according to package directions while you begin the vegetable prep below, so the recipe all comes together seamlessly.
Thinly slice 3 and 1/2 cups leek, then rinse the slices in a colander to make sure the dirt is gone from between all the layers. Set aside.
Peel 3 yellow bell peppers with a vegetable peeler - I found this to be a slightly tricky maneuver, since it makes the peppers slippery in your hand, but it helps the peppers become soft and adhere to the pasta better later on! Slice the peeled peppers into 1/4-inch strips.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek and the pepper strips, and saute for 4 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, and 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice; cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese); reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, while the 'cream cheese' melts.
Add 3 cups cooked orecchiette pasta (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta), along with 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper; cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in 2 ounces shredded vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (such as the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), 1/4 cup chopped chives, 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil (mine was closer to chopped than sliced), and 3 tablespoons pine nuts (which you can toast first, if you like).
Spoon 2 cups of pasta onto each of 4 plates. Each serving is 400 calories. This dish is best served immediately!
yellow bell peppers $9.58
pine nuts $0.85
The Vegan Pantry
- Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
- Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
- Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
- Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
- Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
- Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html