Heirloom Tomato & Spinach Pasta

Heirloom tomatoes, spinach, basil, a dash of oat creamer, and vegan parmesan are all a match made in heaven! A wonderful to way to make a creamy, luscious and comforting cheesy pasta that’s vegan.

I found a super interestingly shaped pasta, a tubular one, so I decided to make something creamy and saucy to get in those tubes!  After some research, I think the name of this pasta is Creste di galli, like a crest or a comb of a rooster. Any tubular pasta shape will work well with this sauce.

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Ingredients:
1 lb pasta (any tubular kind you prefer)
2-3 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (regular tomatoes work perfectly too)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp crushed red peppers/red chilli flakes (optional)
1 cup oat creamer (you could any plant based cream, I use ‘nut pods’)
1 cup oat milk (or any plant based milk, I use ‘Oatly’)
2 tbsp vegan butter (I use ‘earth balance’)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated vegan parmesan ( I use ‘follow your heart’)
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Servings: 6-8

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Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker method:
Press Sauté button and set to normal heat. Heat vegan butter and olive oil until butter melts. Add garlic, basil, red chilli flakes, and sauté for 15 seconds.

Add onions and saute for 5-6 minutes, until the onion soften and just about start getting some color.

Add tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes to start softening them, by working them gently with the back of the spatula to break them gently.

Add oat cream, oat milk, salt, and cook for 5 minutes until tomatoes soften further and the liquid starts bubbling. Add vegan parmesan cheese, mix well until the cheese is completely melted. Here’s where you can adjust how ‘saucy’ you want the dish to be. You can add in a tablespoon or two of water to thin out more if that’s your preference. Add spinach and cook until it wilts.

Add the dry pasta, and add 5 cups of water (for 1lb of pasta). Water will just about cover the mixture. The water added will deglaze your pot if there are any bits stuck to the bottom.

Hit the keep warm/cancel button to turn of saute mode.

Click on manual, and set 5 minutes (4 mins if you like it super al dente). Quick release all the steam. Be careful! and it’s done! Serve immediately.

Traditional stovetop method:
Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the garlic, basil, red chilli flakes, and sauté for 15 seconds.

Add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes, until the onion soften and just about start getting some color.

Add tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes to start softening them, by working them gently with the back of the spatula to break them gently.

In the meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. When the water gets boiling, drop the pasta in and cook until al-dente per package instructions. These ones took about 8 minutes to my liking of doneness (al dente)

To the tomato mixture, over low heat, add oat cream, oat milk, salt, and cook for 5 minutes until tomatoes soften further and the liquid starts bubbling. Add grated vegan parmesan, mix well until the cheese is completely melted. Stir in the spinach and saute until it wilts.

Taste the seasonings, and drop in the drained cooked pasta, stir gently but thoroughly to make sure all the pasta is coated with the sauce. You can always add in a tablespoon or two of the cooking pasta water to thin out more if that’s your preference. Let simmer on low heat for a few minutes and serve with your favorite bread.

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