Thank goodness it's Friday: The best way to celebrate the start of the weekend? With delicious pasta and a glass of red wine. We're cooking up a Pasta al Pomodoro for our loved one so we can pretend we're on a date at a fancy (plant-based!) Italian restaurant instead of cooped up in our homes. Set up the dinner table with placemats and light a candle to set the mood. This dish is made with a light yet flavorful red sauce featuring fresh tomatoes, basil, and linguine pasta topped with pine nuts to give the dish an extra crunch--all 100% vegan. Did you know a vegan diet shown to help your love life? Share this fact with your partner over dinner and read more about it in the book Vegan Sex: Vegans Do It Better by Plant-based Cardiologist Dr. Joel Khan.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Why we love it:  If you're bored of eating a red sauce pasta, this recipe adds flavor and crunch. This dish is a traditional Italian favorite and is simple to make. Your partner will love it too!

Make it for: Date night! Surprise your loved one with a homemade pasta dish and show them you care by making it vegan.

Serves 4 people

Pasta Al Pomadoro

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh tomatoes I like to use a plum on the vine variety but any is fine.
  • 8 cloves of garlic kept whole in the skin and bashed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Small bunch fresh basil
  • Linguine or pasta of choice

Vegan parmesan

  • Pine nut crumb (optional)
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ½ breadcrumbs toasted in a pan
  • 1 tbs spoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a baking tray with the garlic, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to shrink a little. Do not overcook and let them dry out. It depends on the size you use as to how long they need to roast. If you notice they are catching and charring too much, reduce the heat of the oven.
  3. When you’re ready to serve to bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add your pasta. Cook to the packets instructions, and take a minute off, for al dente.
  4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and locate all garlic cloves, remove the skins and squish the flesh with the back of a folk.
    Combine the toasted pine nuts, breadcrumbs, flat-leaf parsley, oil, and season with salt and pepper, set aside.
  5. When the pasta is a ready drain, but make sure you reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan.
  6. Add the tomatoes and all the pan juices to pasta and stir to combine, fold through some chopped fresh basil and serve immediately. Top with extra basil leaves, a sprinkle of pine nut crumb, and vegan Parmesan.