Oh, our love for Italian food! The pizzas and the pastas and the ravioli… you just never want the list to end! A good number of vegan Italian recipes are versatile enough to be savoured raw as well. As much as the goodness of sauces is essential for the dishes so is the cheese.
In Italy, cheese is served along the dish most of the times; other times it is incorporated in the dishes as versatile as risottos or pizzas, as you might have noticed, but mind you, in spite it’s extensive use, Italians are fiercely proud and dependent on it. However, as vegans we have up the anti and turned the whole Italian cuisine into mouthwatering nutrition packed choices. Now, who would not like to experience a raw vegan lasagna, it surely forms a colourful part of the vegan kitchen palette.
However, you’d probably want to let this thought slip away if you’ve adapted the vegan lifestyle. But you’re in luck! Since the author passionately veganises various cuisines, for Italian recipes all this cheese can be replaced with plant-based wholesome ingredients, such as cashews. Voila!
Now let’s treat ourselves to some lovely homemade char-grilled capsicum and pasta in pesto sauce.
Homemade char-grilled capsicums
- 1kg red capsicum (appx)
- 250 ml olive oil (even vegetable oil would suffice)
- Thinly sliced garlic (6-7 cloves)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Clear the capsicum of the pith and seeds. To cook evenly, cut it into quarters and flatten. Meanwhile, preheat the grill (on high).
- In an oven tray, place the first batch of capsicum and set it under the grill (skin side up). Cook until the capsicum skin blackens and starts to blister.
- After you think it’s cooked, remove the capsicum and transfer into a plastic bag and twist to close. Let it be for 5 minutes, to steam. This process will make it easier to remove the skin. Consequently, you may place another batch of capsicum under the grill.
- Now take out the first batch from the bag and let it cool down enough so as to peel off the skin.
- Slice capsicum along the length and place it into sterilised jars with garlic.
- In a container, fuse red wine, oil, salt and pepper. Pour the mix over the capsicum and seal. (if the mix doesn’t entirely cover the capsicum, add more oil).
Homemade pesto is a staple in every Italian household and integral to vegan Italian recipes collection. Adding it to different shaped pasta gives the illusion of a brand new dish every time. Not to mention, it’s the easiest way to get vegetables into anyone’s meal in a disguised yet tasteful manner.
Vegan Italian pesto pasta recipe
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- large handful ofrocket
- 1garlic clove, peeled
- 1 tbsp capers
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 250 g of good quality vegan pasta
- Blend pine nuts, rocket, garlic, olive oil, capers, salt and pepper in a small food processor until smooth.
- Boil salted water in a large saucepan and add pasta to it. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until al dente. Drain well, transfer contents into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Now pour the pesto sauce over the pasta and stir well to coat the pasta evenly. Your dish is now ready to serve.
Note: Pesto can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to a week. Olive oil hardens in the fridge, so don’t worry as the pesto will still have the original flavour. Alternatively, you can leave the pesto out on the counter for about 30 minutes prior to use.
For another vegan Italian classic chilli marinara pacchheri is a hit with the vegan community.