I had just finished reading Bill Buford's inspiring food memoir Heat, which chronicles his apprenticeship in Mario Batali's New York kitchen, Babbo, when by happenstance I stumbled upon a variety of pasta--not something usually on my shopping list--at Whole Foods that sparked this recipe's inspiration. The pasta I used is gluten-free and made of chick peas (!), which means each serving is packed with a whopping 25 grams of protein. Tossed with a hearty helping of root vegetables, and a perfect-for-mixing almond yogurt, the dish is pretty much exactly what you want when nighttime starts to creep in earlier and earlier, and chillier and chillier.
But don't let its pale hue fool (or, if you're a sun goddess, depress) you, for its complexion belies the meal's vibrant, alphabet's-worth of vitamins and minerals. The artichokes, celery root, and leeks--the humblest bunch of vegetables one could think of, all buried in their respective earthy homes until someone decides to pry them from the ground--are excellent sources of Vitamins B, C, and K, which are important for immunity, blood, and mental health (hello holiday season!). Turning to this comfort food as the busiest time of year kicks in is thus a decision that will induce feeling grounded and whole from the inside out sans regrets--except maybe that you didn't make more of it.
Vegan Comfort Food: Gluten-Free Root Vegetable Pasta
- 8 oz. penne pasta (or pasta of your choice), dry
- 2 medium celery roots, outer skin removed and chopped into small cubes
- 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
- 3 leeks
- 1/3 cup almond yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
2. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta: bring 6-8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until tender (around 7 minutes). Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
3. Prepare the yogurt sauce: combine the yogurt, tahini, nutritional yeast, water, garlic, and mustard, and stir until creamy. Add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
4. When the vegetables are finished, combine with pasta and top with sauce (adding reserved pasta water if you need to loosen things), coating evenly.
Also by Jennifer: Creamy Butternut Squash Curry
Related: Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl
Get more like this—Subscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla