Penne Pasta 4 Ways


On the way home after work I decided to invite a few friends for dinner. What are you making? “I want to make some pasta with pesto”. I hate pesto! – says one of them. After laughing for a bit, I confirmed that my friend wasn’t joking. So, I decided to have different options and let them choose what they liked best. This is the result of a quick experiment.

Ingredients (for 4-8)

  • 2 packages of (vegan) penne pasta.
  • 1 cup fresh basil.
  • 6 garlic cloves.
  • ¼ cup pine nuts.
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted.
  • 2 yellow peppers, chopped.
  • 1 ½ cup of cherry tomatoes.
  • ½ brown onion, fine julienne cut.
  • ½ beetroot, cooked and chopped (on how to cook beets, please go to any of the other recipes in this blog where beetroot is a main ingredient).
  • 1 red onion, fine julienne cut.
  • Spices and others: salt and pepper to taste, rosemary, turmeric, soy milk, olive oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast.
  • Materials: baking pan, food processor or (high speed) blender.


  • Orange Sauce: Preheat the oven a 180 degrees Celsius. In a baking pan (e.g. for bread), place the brown onions on the bottom. Place the cherry tomatoes on top with 3 garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and rosemary to taste. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Finally, add just a pinch of sugar on top and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Once done process in a food processor or blender and set aside.


  • Yellow Sauce: In a food processor or blender add the yellow peppers, 2 table spoons of nutritional yeast and a teaspoon of turmeric. Process and set aside.


  • Green Sauce: In a food processor or blender add the avocados (no pit!), basil, 3 garlic cloves, ½ cup of olive oil, and pine nuts. Process and set aside.


  • Red Sauce: in a frying pan add 1 table spoon of oil and heat up. Fry the red onions for 5 minutes and sprinkle with salt. (Note: I also added my home made spicy apricot sauce to the onions for a spicy kick). Once ready, place in a food processor or blender with the beets. Add 1/3 of a cup of soy milk. Process and set aside.


  1. Cook the penne pasta as per the package’s instructions. Once cooked, remove from the stove and drain placing on a strainer.
  2. Divide the pasta into 4 bowls, and assign 1 sauce to each bowl. Mix in well.
  3. Plating: serve while hot and mix up your colors the way you prefer.



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