While it’s easy to make plant-based Italian food at home, eating out can be another story. It is an unfortunate, but very real reality that if you go out to an Italian restaurant, your options will be limited to pasta marinara and spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. But if you live in the U.K., you’ll soon have an entirely vegan menu to choose from at a major Italian chain restaurant.
Carluccio’s is an Italian restaurant that has more than 100 locations throughout the U.K., and its owner, Antonio Carluccio, is on a mission to create a vegetarian and vegan menu. He’s not doing it alone, though. Blogger and writer Anna Barnett is helping Carluccio develop this menu after spending years creating unique and exciting vegetarian dishes for her husband. The two hope to provide hearty and satisfying Italian dishes for those who are interested in eating a plant-based diet.
“My husband is vegetarian… so I began to create different meat-free recipes to show him how exciting and varied plant-based meals could be,” Barnett said.
Dishes range from zucca con verdure arrostite, a roasted butternut squash with vegetables and pine nuts, to giant Pugliese penne, a dish made with penne, zucchini, chili and deep-fried spinach balls. You’ll have to visit this restaurant more than a few times to sample all of the new dishes that make vegetables the star of the plate.
Make Hearty Plant-Based Italian Dishes to Make at Home
Can’t visit a Carluccio’s location but still want to indulge in a tasty plant-based Italian dinner? Check out these recipes from the Food Monster app to make your own Italian feast.
This Italian Wedding Soup recipe by Maria Koutsogiannis puts a unique twist on the traditional recipe. Instead of normal Italian wedding soup, this recipe calls for white beanballs to be added to the broth. Gather your ingredients, blend in a food processor, and roll into balls to create this hearty Italian soup.
Get your fill of lasagna with this Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo Lasagna recipe by Kristen Genton. The simple, creamy sauce is the perfect addition to spinach and mushrooms. Add a fresh component by putting chopped tomatoes on top of the dish. This dairy-free lasagna won’t leave you feeling too full, either.
Try creating this plant-based and gluten-free Pasta Puttanesca recipe from Vaishali Honawar. If the taste of anchovies is something you miss, this dish will hit the spot. The addition of seaweed and tamari add an ocean-y flavor and salty component that make this Italian dish one you’ll return time and time again. Don’t want to make a gluten-free dish? Swap out the gluten-free pasta, and you’re good to go.
Looking for more plant-based Italian recipes? Check out this guide for 25 diverse choices!
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Carluccio/Facebook