Pizza pasta has all the traditional flavors of pizza but without the white flour, oil and salt that usually comes along with it. This dish prepares quickly and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Any type of whole-grain pasta may be used (I like fusilli).
whole grain pasta, any shape, enough for 2 hearty servings
water for sautéing
10 mushrooms, sliced (I like cremini or white button)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon or so)
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup basil leaves (about 20 leaves), rough chopped
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons walnuts or pinenuts
3 tablespoons water (or drained off juice from can of tomatoes)
1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions; drain, rinse and set aside. You can use any shape or kind of pasta here. I like brown rice pasta and quinoa pasta.
2. In a blender, blend the nutritional yeast, nuts and water until smooth (a high-speed blender works best here to break up the nuts, but any blender will work). Set aside.
3. Sauté the mushrooms and onion in a skillet or pot in a couple tablespoons of water, adding just a little water as you go to prevent sticking (as the vegetables cook, their water will be released as well). Sauté for 5-7 minutes on med-high heat with a wooden spoon. Halfway through add the garlic (garlic can burn easily, so it doesn’t need to cook as long). Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes; add the basil in the last 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the pasta in and toss everything together. Serve hot garnished with a little chopped basil or parsley and/or some ground nuts and nutritional yeast (shown below).
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 hearty entree servings
Optional vegetables: You may also add in other things that are reminiscent of pizza, like artichoke hearts, olives, bell peppers, zucchini, and fresh thyme and oregano. A handful of chopped, fresh greens would also be good (kale, chard, spinach, collards). I’m partial to sweet yellow onions in this recipe, but any kind may be used, even shallots and red onions. If you are a big garlic lover, you may want to add in another clove or two.
Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes may be used as well, and would be especially good when they are in season. I use whole peeled tomatoes here, but you can also use 2 cans of diced or crushed tomatoes.
Nutritional yeast: If you’ve never tried nutritional yeast, it can be found in bulk at Whole Foods or other healthy groceries. It gives a cheesy flavor without the dairy. And a little goes a long way, so I just use 1 teaspoon above. But if you want a cheesier flavor, feel free to add more.
Sauce: This dish is only lightly sauced; if you want more sauce, add in a can of tomato sauce with the tomatoes, or double the sauce ingredients here (water, nuts, nutritional yeast).
Low-cal: Feel free to omit the nuts if you are trying to cut calories. The dish will still be very flavorful, just without the slight creamy texture.
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