I know. Protein pasta doesn't sound like the stuff you dream about eating in Italy. But trust me, guys. This is your new go-to I feel virtuous for eating my veggies, but I'm also really enjoying this pasta meal.
The best part is you can omit or add veggies based on your preferences, and what's in season.
Here I loaded up on the best of summer farmer's market produce.
I love that summertime veggies require minimum cooking time. So this dish comes together quickly. Plus it keeps well so you can double the recipe, and make a bigger batch for the week.
Banza pasta has become a staple of mine. It's made from over 90% chickpeas, and each serving has 25 grams of protein. It also has 13 grams of fiber (fiber helps keep you full!) and 42 grams of net carbs per serving (versus 8-13 grams of protein, 2-4 grams of fiber and around 70 grams of net carbs for a traditional pasta serving). It's also gluten free.
So yes - some good stats! But if you aren't into chickpea pasta for whatever reason , this can be made with whatever pasta you prefer.
I used a combination of nutritional yeast - a vegan alternative to parmesan sometimes referred to as "nooch" - and traditional parmesan to make it a little extra cheesy. (If you're vegan obviously omit the parm.)
I like nutritional yeast because it's high in vitamin B12. A few years ago I found out I was low in B12 (after getting Vertigo - eeek a story for another day!) Anyway, now I add it to whatever I can. The taste is mild, and a little nutty.
This protein pasta is great as is, or if you're an overachiever, and want to REALLY load up on the protein you can easily add chicken or shrimp. I recently added chicken sausage which was delicious too.
Give the recipe below a try, and let me know what you guys think!
Protein Summer Vegetable Pasta
- 1 8 oz box banza pasta (my favorites are rigatoni and penne)
- 1-2 red or yellow peppers
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1 zucchini
- 1 - 2 cups shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 - 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- Optional 1 tsp butter or earth balance butter (vegan alternative)
- Optional 1 tsp red chili flakes
- Rinse and chop vegetables.
- Bring a large pot of salted water (about 2 quarts) to a rolling boil over high heat. Add a little sea salt.
- Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp evoo or avocado oil in a large pan.
- Add vegetables to the pan (asparagus in last.) Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside, and cover to keep warm.
- Add pasta to the boiling water, and reduce heat to create a low boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes for al dente pasta stirring occasionally. (Note - some foam is normal.)
- Drain and rinse the pasta immediately. Add either 1 tsp evoo , avocado oil, or butter to pasta. Stir. Add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, and stir again.
- Add prepared vegetables to pasta. Sprinkle with remaining tbsp nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and optional chili flakes if you like spice!
- Finally top with parmesan cheese, and enjoy.
Have you guys tried protein pasta before? What do you think? Comment below!