An easy vegetarian meal that makes great leftovers!
This pasta tastes so good you might be surprised how quickly it can be prepared, since there’s no fussy sauce to assemble. I previously shared my recipe for deliciously addictive vegan coconut ‘bacon’ bits (you can omit, or use regular bacon if you prefer) and you can even use a non-dairy creamy cheese product instead of the chèvre (goat’s milk cheese) if you want to make the whole dish vegan. If you have leftovers, add a little water to the pasta before reheating and you’ll have deliciously creamy sauce once again.
- 1/2 cup (60 g) coconut bacon bits *
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 small to medium sized onion, sliced thinly
- 2 cups (200 g) dried penne, fusilli or macaroni (use gluten-free pasta if you prefer)
- 1 cup (140 g) cubed squash (1/2 inch or 1.25 cm cubes)
- 1 cup (100 g) thinly sliced button or cremini mushrooms
- 2/3 cup (approximately 5.5 ounces or 150 g) goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup (12 g) slivered fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper, to taste
* can substitute with 4 slices of bacon, diced and cooked until crispy, then drained on paper towel
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet (big enough to also hold the cooked squash, mushrooms and pasta) placed over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until very soft and beginning to brown, reducing heat after the first 5 minutes. Total cooking time should be about 10 minutes.
- Add the squash and mushrooms to the pan holding the onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes, adding a bit of olive or vegetable oil if the pan is too dry.
- While the vegetables are cooking, bring a pot of generously salted water to boil for the pasta. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, stirring occasionally.
- When the pasta is tender but not mushy, scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, set aside, then drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the cooked onions, squash and mushrooms. Immediately scatter the crumbled goat cheese on top and stir until it is distributed throughout the pasta, drizzling in the hot reserved pasta water to help melt the cheese and make the sauce creamy.
- Sprinkle the coconut or regular bacon bits over top, followed by the basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.