This post is sponsored by Barilla and Acorn Influence. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Since I have the ingredients for this pasta in my pantry and fridge at any given time and it comes together quickly, this pasta dinner is a no-brainer at our house. First let’s start with the pasta. I’ve been a Barilla devotee for years now, and now that they have their “Barilla Better for You” products from whole grain pastas, protein pastas and even gluten free varieties, I am even more of a fan. Barilla Gluten Free pasta has recently been named one of Parents Magazine’s “Top 25 Allergy Free Foods”! Their whole whole wheat pasta is a favorite at our house for its flavor and texture, so I always have a box of either spaghetti or some other pasta shape in the pantry. The Barilla whole grain pastas are an excellent source of fiber, are made with 100% whole wheat and pack a whopping 56g of whole grain in each serving! Yes please. For this dish I used Barilla Whole Wheat Spaghetti pasta. While the pasta is cooking I whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer, then turn it down to keep it warm while the pasta finishes cooking. The combination of cashew butter tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger is magical, just in case you were wondering. Once the pasta has finished cooking, I drain it then toss it with the sauce while it’s still warm so that those flavors get absorbed into each piece of pasta.
Then I top it with veggie ribbons which I make beforehand by using a peeler (you could also use a mandoline), then quickly blanching the ribbons in a pot of boiling salted water for a minute. I love using zucchini and multi-colored carrots, but you could use whatever you like or have on hand. You could even use other vegetables!
Sometimes one of my kid pulls the “Picky Eater” card, so on those days I have to get a bit creative on how I present dinner. It’s all about the marketing, right? Veggie ribbons are just plain fun, right off the bat, but sometimes I will roll some of them up into flowers. But there are so many other things you could do! Lay them over the top of the pasta in a pattern, have some of them sticking out of the pasta and call them veggie worms, etc. Creative marketing has gotten me around more than a few picky eater roadblocks over the years.
This recipe makes about 8 servings, if it’s part of a multi-course meal or is a side dish. (A single serving of pasta is generally regarded as 2 ounces (57 grams) of cooked pasta for a first course or side dish.) If you are serving this as a one-pot meal, which is what I do most of the time, this recipe makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on how hungry your eaters are! Nutty whole wheat spaghetti pasta tossed in a creamy cashew butter sauce and topped with colorful veggie ribbons? Isn’t it dinnertime yet?
Cashew Butter Veggie Pasta
This is one of my new go-to meals when time is tight. Whole wheat spaghetti tossed in a creamy cashew butter sauce and topped with veggie ribbons. It's delicious, filling, and fun! This recipe makes about 8 servings, if it's part of a multi-course meal or is a side dish. (A single serving of pasta is generally regarded as 2 ounces (57 grams) of cooked pasta for a first course or side dish.) If you are serving this as a one-pot meal, which is what I do most of the time, this recipe makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on how hungry your eaters are!
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium orange carrot, peeled
- 1 medium yellow carrot, peeled
- 1 medium purple carrot, peeled
- 1 pound Barilla Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 2/3 cup cashew butter
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons low sodium tamari
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
Cut the zucchini and carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the ribbons to the water and cook for 1-minute, then rinse with cold water and set aside.
Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package directions, then drain.
While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the cashew butter, water, tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until you have a sauce consistency. Bring the sauce to a simmer then reduce the heat to keep it warm.
Drain the pasta, and while they are still hot, add the cashew sauce and toss them to coat. Add the green onions and sesame seeds and toss again.
Arrange the vegetable ribbons on top of the pasta as desired, then serve immediately.
Don't like carrots or zucchini? Use something else! This dish is very versatile and would be delicious with all sorts of other vegetables. Want more vegetables? No problem! Load them on! If your family can tolerate spice, add a bit of sriracha when making the sauce. It's even more delicious! If you are gluten-free, just substitute Barilla's Gluten Free Pasta!
If you’re still looking for recipe inspiration, check out these recipes from Barilla and this Pinterest recipes board. Then head over to the Ibotta rebate and pick up a box of Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta for your family.