Here is my lovely creamy bow tie (farfalle) pasta! Doesn’t it look delicious? Well here’s the kicker – it’s completely meat free. But doesn’t it look so much like a non-veg dish?
I’ve been eating a lot more vegetarian food lately and found myself stepping away from meat. That’s when I found some meat substitutions I really liked. To be frank, I find most vegetarian replicas of meat to be pretty gross. They smell like chemicals, they get chewy, or they just don’t cook up right. To be fair, I also find mince meat to smell gross as well, which is why I haven’t wanted to eat much meat lately.
I found Vivera‘s brand of veggie mince to be lovely. It doesn’t smell strange and manages to produce the same texture as ground meat. For this recipe, you can use Vivera’s or the brand that you prefer.
I use the same techniques I use for cooking ground meat it substituted beautifully into my pasta dish. I also didn’t have heavy cream, so I substituted with a small tub of cream cheese. Here’s the recipe!
VEGETARIAN CREAMY PASTA (VIVERA VEGGIE MINCE)
- 250g of any shape pasta (I used Farfalle)
- 180g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese (original)
- 1 package of Vivera Veggie Mince
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, minced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp Italian spices mix
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 250g spinach
- 1/4 tsp Demerara sugar
- Boil water and season with teaspoon of salt. Add pasta and cook until ready.
- While pasta is cooking, take a large nonstick pan and heat up some olive oil on a medium high flame. I used a Circulon wok.
- Add minced onions and cook until translucent. Turn down the heat slightly and add garlic, stir for 5 seconds, then add all spices. Be mindful not to burn it.
- Add veggie mince and mix well to incorporate all the spice mixture into the mince.
- Add cream cheese and gently mix. I find that using some of the pasta water helped to mix it well without destroying the mince.
- Add the Demerara sugar and mix (especially helpful if the cayenne pepper is too spicy for you).
- Drain pasta and retain some of the pasta water. This will make a big difference in how you can control the consistency of your pasta. The starchines of the water will help you to achive that.
- Mix the pasta sauce with your pasta and add spinach.
- Add salt and black pepper (optional) to taste.
- Take the pasta water and add as needed to attain the consistency you prefer.
Hopefully you guys enjoy this as much as we did. It ended up being a little too spicy for Savya because I added way more cayenne pepper than I’ve specified in the recipe, but he still ate a bowl full! All in all, I’d say this dish worked out pretty well. If you want, you can add more spice or some parmesan cheese on top to finish. Either way, take this vegetarian dish and make it your own. That’s the beauty of cooking!