Saturday, April 2, 2011
Peanut Butter Pasta Shells *
I love vegan mac & "cheese" but I try not to eat it too often because it doesn't have very much protein. Anyone who has looked through the rest of my recipes will know that I also like peanut butter with pasta. This recipe, unlike my previous recipes combining peanut and pasta, is more of a comfort food with the smooth, creamy texture of the peanut butter sauce, the slightly salty flavor, and the pleasant chewiness of shell pasta. For me it is the next best thing to eating a big bowl of vegan mac & "cheese" while being much more nutritious (see note below). This recipe is gluten and soy free.
8 ounce box gluten free corn/quinoa pasta shells, cooked and drained
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (1 cup if you like a thinner sauce)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt (use the 1/4 if your peanut butter is not salted)
1/4 tsp garam masala
Combine all ingredients except the pasta in a pot as large enough to hold the pasta. Whisk together over medium-low heat until the sauce is smooth, creamy, and warm. Add the shells and stir together until they are coated evenly and there isn't too much extra sauce left at the bottom. Serve immediately. My family likes this paired with peas or beets.
NOTES: If you do not need to be gluten free you can substitute wheat pasta shells. The 1/4 tsp of garam masala makes a mild sauce so you may wish to add more; I am serving this to a 5 year old to whom anything beyond very mild seasoning is "too spicy" and so I keep it to a minimum. If you want to be adventurous, try adding some soaked raisins, currents, or sweetened dried cranberries. This dish is best right after it is made so if you will not being able to use it all at one meal you may want to consider cutting the recipe in half.
Nutritional Note: I calculated the nutrition in this dish with an online recipe calculator and, assuming 4 servings, there is about 14 grams of protein per serving. Obviously, if you use different ingredients the protein content may be different and it was just an online calculator not a lab analysis or anything.