Medium | Servings: 4 | Ready In: 15 minutes | Yield: 8-10 cups
Small, spicy red cherry peppers are traditional to this Calabrian-style pasta recipe. Whole wheat pasta shells add satisfying texture and healthy plant-based, vegan protein. Enjoy this for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. If you like this, you’ll also love Pasta ‘alla Norma’: Eggplant with Gluten-Free Chickpea Cavatappi Pasta and Spicy Red Sauce, Gluten-Free Vegan Mac and Sweet Potato “Geez!”, and 5-Minute Vegan Cashew ‘Parm’.
- 4 servings whole wheat pasta shells
- 2 red cherry peppers (or 1 small red chili pepper), seeded
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 pitted deglet noor dates
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
How it’s Done:
For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
To make Spicy Calabrian-Style Cherry Pepper sauce: In a blender, combine the red cherry peppers, garlic, dates, tomato paste, cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast, cannellini beans, salt, and 1 cup of water. Puree until creamy. Set aside until ready to use.
To make the Spicy Calabrian-Style Cherry Pepper pasta: Once your large pot of water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions, about 10 min, about a minute before done, or “al dente”. You want the pasta to still have some “bite”.
While the pasta is boiling, saute the bell pepper in a wide pan over medium heat. When the pasta is done cooking, add 1 cup of the pasta water to the pan with the bell pepper. Add the reserved Calabrian pepper sauce to the pan.
Drain the pasta. Add it to the pan with the bell pepper and sauce. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Cook 1-2 minutes, until hot and bubbly. When the pasta is tender, turn off the heat.
Taste to adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
Chef’ Katie’s Tips
Spicy Tip: For more spice, leave the seeds in one or both of the cherry peppers. For a less spicy version, substitute one red bell pepper for the red cherry peppers.
Chef’s Cheezy Tip: Nutritional yeast adds a “cheezy” flavor, replacing the Parmesan traditionally used in this classic soup. It also adds B-12 vitamins, a common concern for vegans.
Gluten-Free Version: Substitute the whole wheat shells for any gluten-free pasta. Chickpea and brown rice are two of my favorite.
Pasta Shapes Matter! Pasta shells work best for this recipe. The scoop shape helps hold the creamy, rich sauce. If possible, find shells with ridges (aka “Rigate”). These ridges will help hold even more sauce.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 2 g||3 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||0 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 448 mg||19 %|
|Potassium 489 mg||14 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 71 g||24 %|
|Dietary Fiber 16 g||66 %|
|Sugars 10 g|
|Protein 18 g||35 %|
|Vitamin A||42 %|
|Vitamin C||141 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Shopping and Gear List
- Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta Shells No. 91, 1 Lb
- Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning 4.5 Ounce
- Mariani Pitted Dates 100% Natural Fat Free, 40-Ounce