In many busy households, pasta dishes are a staple for quick weeknight dinners. Truly as easy as boiling water, even the most culinary challenged can manage to successfully prepare pasta. Throw on some steamed veggies and a protein for a complete meal in well under 30 minutes! But while quick, throw-together meals can be a lifesaver during busy times, don't forget that pastas can also be the base for some pretty fancy entrees. Rich, creamy sauces; exotic spices; and an array of fresh, seasonal vegetables can turn plain old pasta into a stunning and delicious meal! Pasta meals are also super versatile in terms of eating seasonally. Zucchini pasta with a fresh tomato sauce is a cool choice for summer months, while cheesy casseroles and rich sauces are creamy and comforting in fall and winter. Bonus: There are now plenty of delicious, great-textured gluten free pasta options on the market. Or for the ultimate healthy (and gluten free) pasta, try a vegetable version! Simply substitute spaghetti squash, shredded zucchini, or another squash for the noodles in your favorite pasta recipe.

Zucchini Pasta with Chunky Tomato Sauce [Vegan]

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  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp + 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 20 sundried tomatoes, soaked in warm water until soft (about 30 minutes)
  • 1⁄2 cup tomato soak water
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 heaping tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp hemp oil
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts or chopped Brazil nuts
  • Pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Trim the ends of the squash. Using a hand-held vegetable peeler, carefully strip the squash, layer by layer, into noodle-like pieces and gather into a colander (for best results, discard the watery center section that holds the seeds).
  2. Toss squash strips with 1 tsp of sea salt and place the colander over a large bowl to catch excess moisture. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, wash the squash thoroughly with warm water to remove any excess salt, and let drain for 5 more minutes.
  4. In a food processor, blend together the sundried tomatoes, 1⁄2 cup soak water, fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, raisins, hemp oil, and 1⁄2 tsp of sea salt into a chunky paste.
  5. Add the nuts and pulse a few times to chop the nuts finely (but do not blend).
  6. Toss the sauce with the zucchini strips and sauté over medium-low heat for
  7. 1–2 minutes to warm through.


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