Red lentil pasta and plant-based sausage tossed in a creamy Romesco sauce with arugula, spinach, red bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, broccolini, and Italian herbs.
Easy One-Pot Vegetarian Meal
I have you covered for a healthy, delicious vegetarian one-pot meal. My Basil Romesco Sauce is a surprisingly creamy, spicy, fire-roasted sauce that is easy to make. Add this spicy romesco sauce with plant-based sausage and vegetables cooked in garlic and tossed with greens to make this lentil pasta dish restaurant-quality and fulfilling in less than 30 minutes.
Try the hearty Aleppo Pepper Spiced Vegetarian Borscht for a burst of flavor. Another great dish using romesco sauce is the Turmeric Herbed Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Israeli Couscous and Basil Romesco Sauce. Make the Quick Basil Romesco Pasta Sauce ahead of time, which lasts up to a week. In addition, other great sauce staples you should have are the Homemade Easy Spicy Basil Pesto, Quick Harissa Sauce, and Quick Zhug Sauce.
Basil Romesco Sauce Uses
The traditional romesco sauce inspired my Quick Basil Romesco Pasta Sauce and was explicitly made to toss in pasta dishes. I mostly used it to make vegetarian pasta dishes as an alternative to using pasta tomato pasta sauce. The sauce has a light flavor with a hint of basil and chilies.
And it's a creamy sauce with no milk or heavy cream. Making it perfect as a non-dairy-healthy alternative. You can also use it to smother mushrooms and lightly cook fish. Or add it to your favorite pasta, vegetables, meats, seafood, fish, poultry, tofu, or a combination in a heated saute pan on medium-low heat.
Look how vibrant this sauce is. This was made with Trader Joe’s Red Lentil Pasta. You can enjoy it just like this with some toasted pine nuts and shredded basil. This recipe brings the Spanish and Italian food favorites into one bowl.
I used plant-based hot Italian sausage in my original recipe, hinting at fennel. So, if you can find this sausage, please do! But if you can't, follow the recipe, and you will be pleased. The arugula gives the dish a citrusy, savory bite, complementing the sauce's spiciness.
The broccoli also adds the crunch! All tossed in this bright-colored, beautiful Catalanian-inspired sauce will make it your favorite dish. In addition, you can easily make this a vegan dish by buying all the ingredients vegan-certified.
The Romesco sauce ingredients may look like a lot, but it actually takes only 5 minutes to make. Using a blender, you will combine the fire-roasted red bell peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, almonds, sherry vinegar, parsley, basil, oregano, smoked paprika powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and a tablespoon of water. Then blend into a smooth sauce and slowly add the olive oil to emulsify.
Use two pots, a medium sauce pot, and a medium saute pan. Cook the broccolini and lentil pasta separately in the sauce pot of boiling water. Then you'll heat up the medium saute pan with oil and saute the plant-based sausage, onions, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic and season with Italian herbs seasoning, salt, and pepper. Then, you'll finish by adding the pasta, arugula, spinach, broccolini, and romesco sauce to the sausage mixture.
Find the quantities in the recipe card.
Prep the broccolini by cutting them in half to cook uniformly for bites.
Once the broccolini has steamed or boiled for 3 minutes, immediately palace it in an ice bath to shock it, stopping the cooking process and keeping it bright green.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab.
- Romesco Sauce - You can try to speed up the preparation of this dish by using already prepared romesco paste. The only challenge with this is the caloric intake, which will be different. The paste is supposed to be used in smaller amounts, about two tablespoons, compared to my sauce, which you will use in a cup per two servings.
- Red Lentil Pasta - Lentil pasta was used to make this meal gluten-free. However, if this is not a concern for you, use wheat pasta like farfalle, penne, or fusilli shapes to hold the sauce the best.
- Plant-based Sausage - Use pork or chicken Italian sausage links. Either remove it from the casing and crumble the meat during cooking or sear it whole, remove it, slice it, and put it back into the pasta.
- Broccolini - Use broccoli or broccoli rabe. Using the same cooking method, this dish will also go well with green beans, peas, asparagus, or sliced zucchini.
- Sherry Vinegar - Use one part apple cider vinegar to one part water.
- Almonds - Make this dish nut-free by omitting the nuts.
Change Heat Level - Modify the lentil pasta recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Pistachios - Add crushed toasted pistachios for a nice crunch.
- Sundried Tomatoes - Use them to give a lovely, sweet, tangy kick.
- Mushroom Mix - Omit the sausage and use a variety of mushrooms with fresh thyme.
Looking for more vegetarian options? You can easily switch the proteins in these dishes for dinner:
Use Plant-Based Spicy Italian Sausage for the Italian Chicken Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with Burrata Cheese, Spicy Pesto Chicken Pasta, and Loaded Cheesy Ground Turkey Red Lentil Pasta recipes.
- Blender or Food Processor - Used to emulsify the ingredients in the Romesco pasta sauce to create a smooth and creamy sauce. To develop this recipe, I used the Vitamix Professional Series Blender. I've used Vitamix for years, even in the professional kitchen.
- Medium Saucepan or Steamer - I used a saucepan for the lentil pasta and broccolini when developing this recipe, but you can use a steamer instead for the broccolini. I usually use the Oster Stainless Steel Steamer. It comes in three parts. I fill the base with water, put the lid on, and boil it. Then, add the vegetable to the basket and set aside. 0When the water is ready, I just add the basket. It's much better than adding the vegetables to the hot basket while steaming.
- Medium Mixing Bowl - Use for the ice bath.
- Colander - To drain the pasta.
- Medium Frying Pan - When developing this recipe several times, I've always used the All-Clad D3 3-Ply Stainless Steel and Nonstick Surface Frying Pan. I've trusted these American-made, long-lasting cookware for years.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the lentil pasta meal in a 2-inch shallow pan to cool down quickly. Then, store in an air-tight sealing container. This meal will last up to three days.
- Freezer - I do not recommend freezing this dish.
The Romesco sauce only needs to be heated up. Do not boil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Romesco sauce is a centuries-old traditional Catalan sweet pepper paste originating from Tarragona, Spain. It's an incredibly flavorful and versatile condiment.
Traditionally, it is made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, almonds, hazelnuts, and olive oil, plus some paprika and vinegar to round out the flavors.
The unique taste of romesco is what sets it apart from other sauces, making it a staple for many Spanish dishes such as paella, a seafood and rice dish, or tortilla española, a frittata-like egg dish with potatoes and onions.
This unique and complex blend has a nutty and garlicky flavor that can be added to countless savory recipes. Plus, you can use the sauce for marinades, garnishes, and a simple dip - making it one of the most valuable condiments!
This helps retain its bright green color when it is cooked. You can do this with most green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, and asparagus. Plus, it stops the cooking process, leaving you with crisp vegetables perfect for adding stir-fries to pasta dishes.
Looking for other pasta recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other vegetarian pasta recipes like this? Try these:
Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe, and Share!
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Have a question or comment?
If you have a question or comment about this lentil pasta recipe, please post it below. You will definitely get a quick response. Plus, it helps our other readers to stay informed. Thanks!