Friday, September 3, 2010

Cheesy Vegan Pasta Stack

Guests who expect a salad when you invite them to dinner, can be impressively wowed with a meal that still only takes minutes to make.

For this pasta dish, I got my gourmet colored pasta where I usually find it: TJ Maxx, believe it or not. Incidentally, I always check that the black coloring, if it's in the pasta, is not from squid ink.  Chefs used to use this but now they've found other alternatives for the pasta colors made from veggies and spices. Still, I always check for this and never buy pasta make with egg yolks either. You can use vegan pasta with no coloring, of course. The colors just add pizzazz.

Boil your pasta of choice according to package directions. In the meantime, open a can of stewed or whole tomatoes. Use kitchen shears, while they are still in the can to chop them up.  If you don't have kitchen shears, you can use a knife just stuck down in the can to press the tomatoes against inside of can to chop.  (Easier than trying while they are out of the can). I prefer the taste of the whole tomatoes, but if you don't have it, diced is'll just need to drain some of the juices.

When pasta is almost done, heat up desired amount of Nacho Mom's Ultimate Vegan Queso.

Place drained pasta on platter, top with desired amount of tomatoes, layer Nacho Mom's Ultimate Vegan Queso on top.

We also topped the pasta this time with baked vegan "meatballs" but those are entirely optional.

Option 2: top with rinsed and drained black beans, heated

Option 3: top with the black beans and add some vegan sour cream dollops

It has a hint of Southwestern flair which lends it well to many options...

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