Vegetarian pasta recipes – no meat, but definitely no lack of taste!
Pasta cuisine truly is a vegetarian’s delight. That's because in the country of the boot, vegetarian pasta recipes don’t feel like ‘cut-down’ versions of meat dishes. They're not designed just for vegetarians; they're just designed to be tasty!
Italians simply don’t care whether a recipe includes meat, fish or veg so long as it’s packed with flavour and tastes "buono" (delicious).
(Got your own veggie pasta recipe you love to cook? Share it here!)
I'll kick you off with one of my favourite vegetarian pasta recipes - a real fibre-filled winter warmer called pasta fagioli (bean pasta). You can use any small pasta for this, then just cook it with cannellini beans like a stew. Very hearty and very filling.
Direct from my mamma-in-law's buddy Nuccia in stunning Sicily, this molten zucchini and tomato feast takes a little while but it's a cinch to prepare. Its super-soft veg mixture contrasts beautifully with its firm, supple penne. My mouth is watering just writing about this one.
The first of 2 easy ravioli dishes here, this ultra-orange creation is as sweet tasting as it is radioactive looking! You’ll need to make the pasta for this dish from scratch in order to fill the ravioli parcels but I'll explain how (it's easy).
Second up comes an easy-cheesy favourite in the form of this easy peasy winner. If you tend to opt for spinach and ricotta cannelloni in Italian restaurants, I think you'll love this dish (and as with all 'parcel pasta', it will really impress your dinner guests).
If you're looking for an authentic Italian pasta recipe with a moreish eggplant taste and a story to tell, try this Sicilian pasta alla norma. That molten veg just tastes so sweet...
Pasta alla norma's close competitor however is this pasta with ricotta recipe, which Laura and I cook all the time. Just ignore the occasional mentions of pancetta/bacon in this recipe and you have a really creamy treat.
Fancy going green? Then click this Ligurian pesto pasta recipe for a basil munching, green bean crunching feast. It's probably the freshest vegetarian pasta recipe here and makes a great main meal or starter. (Find more Northern Italian pasta recipes here.)
Take one of the least used veggies around, remove its heart, chop and fry it the crunchy critter, then mix with penne pasta. Waddya get? A fresh, strong and tasty treat. This recipe, like the first on this page, comes courtesy of Marisa's good buddy Nuccia in Sicily. Thanks Nuccia!
This tasty broccoli pasta from Puglia in Italy uses a special leafy type of broccoli (cime di rape) that softens beautifully to mold itself around scrummy 'little ear' pasta shapes. And of course, it's even tastier if you make these fresh.
This light spaghetti dish is full of fresh spring flavors, including spring onion and sumptuous torn zucchini flowers. It's called ‘spaghetti con fiori di zucchini’ in Italian and it makes a lovely oily lunchtime treat.
Even if you're not keen on cauliflower (cavolfiore), this wonderful interesting Sicilian dish should convert you (it did me!). In its creamy cauli sauce are juicy raisins, crunchy pine nuts, saffron and a chili hit. What a discovery!
We fed this creamy Sicilian discovery to my Dad recently and, while a confirmed meat-lover, he instantly pronounced it his new favorite pasta dish. Quite a result... and it says it all about how scrummy this crunchy dish really is.
An interesting take on a very popular veggie dish. There is no creamy sauce with this primavera - instead you get beautifully oiled, soft, sweet and colorful veggie cubes for a real plateful of pasta nutrition.
This sweet ravioli version fills our green spinach pasta parcels with soft-fried eggplant/aubergine, then smothers the lot in a fresh cherry tomato sauce. Tastes great, looks amazing - a real in-yer-face contrast of colors.
This fresh mushroom feast is a real guest impresser! It squeezes butter-fried farmer's market mushrooms, with a few cherry toms thrown in, between fresh green discs of spinach pasta. It screams 'earthy', you must try it.
This nutritious long-pasta dish features the very greenest of sauces with some nicely contrasting crumbled hard-boiled egg yolk on top. Created by combining ideas and tips from a multitude of sources, this mealtime mongrel is a creamy new classic.
Are you vegan? Do you want to make fresh pasta without using eggs? Then you should definitely try this 20-minute vegan pasta recipe. (Includes a selection of vegan sauce options and links.)
For a full page of vegan pasta recipes click here.
Extra recommendation: In the mood for a light French dinner? Then I think you’ll love my friend Kim's easy vegetarian quiche recipe - direct from the pages of her excellent Easy French Food site.
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