Pasta Fresca (vegan + gluten-free)

This easy and light Pasta Fresca is loaded with flavor from a white wine-balsamic sauce. It gets added freshness and flavor from parsley, roma tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. It’s a vegan and gluten-free dinner that comes together quickly and doesn’t require much effort.

Easy Pasta Fresca

It’s pasta night! And it is SO not boring over here!  This light and easy recipe is my husband’s all-time favorite pasta dish.  It is inspired by the on-the-menu… then off-the-menu… then on-the-menu again Noodles & Company Pasta Fresca!  I recreated it at home so we can enjoy whenever we want (whether it is on the menu or not!).  Of course, my version is gluten-free and vegan.  I tend to add more spinach, too. I love recreating restaurant favorites at home, and I hope you’ll love this one as much as I do!

Vegan Gluten-Free Pasta Fresca

Ingredients in Pasta Fresca Sauce

Of course I enjoy a good tomato-based pasta sauce but every now and then I like to switch things up. I love that this sauce is light, fresh, and savory with so much flavor. It is very classic-Italian and so good I could almost drink the sauce – well, not really, but I do love to drench the noodles and vegetables in it! This light Pasta Fresca sauce is made with:

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White wine
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt
Pasta Fresca

We enjoy this colorful dish year-round but I especially love it any time I want a warm dinner that isn’t too heavy.  It is somehow comforting and yet light. These are also the BEST leftovers to have on hand! Don’t you love a dish that’s just as good the next day? It makes me so excited for lunchtime!

Weeknight Pasta Fresca

The plump and juicy Roma tomatoes combined with pungent red onions are a match made in pasta heaven.  It is a crowd-pleasing, healthy dish that everyone seems to just love. I love a crowd pleaser that’s also this easy to make!  It doesn’t require a lot and yet it screams (or maybe subtly whispers), “I’m gourmet.”  

The Best Veggies to Add to Pasta Fresca

You could also throw in more produce if you want to amp up the nutrition profile. Just add those to the sauté pan at the same time you add the red onions. Try…

  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli florets
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
Vegan Pasta Fresca

This dish comes together quickly.  I prep the veggies and whisk together the sauce while the water boils and then start to saute everything while the pasta cooks.  It all comes together at roughly the same time if you layer the tasks like this.  Dinner in under 20 minutes!

Simple Pasta Fresca

This Pasta Fresca recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free and peanut-free.  It is also nut-free if you skip my homemade 3-ingredients vegan parmesan cheese (contains almond flour).  If you give this recipe a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your creations! It makes my day!

Gluten-Free Pasta Fresca

Now, Let’s Make Some Vegan Pasta Fresca!

This easy pasta recipe will be an instant favorite easy weeknight meal.  I cannot wait for you to give this vegan pasta fresca a try!  Let’s get cooking!

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Vegan Pasta Fresca


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This easy and light pasta dish is loaded with flavor from a white wine-balsamic sauce. It gets added freshness and flavor from parsley, roma tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. It comes together quickly and doesn’t require much effort. This vegan dish is inspired by our favorite dish at Noodles & Company: Pasta Fresca.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces gluten-free pasta (such as farfalle or penne)

Fresca Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white wine
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • half a large red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 23 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • Optional: 1/4 cup homemade vegan parmesan*
  • Optional: freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile while the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together fresca sauce ingredients (olive oil, white wine, balsamic, parsley and salt) until well-blended.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion, garlic and tomatoes and sauté until onions are soft and translucent and tomatoes start to break down (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add in the cooked pasta, fresca sauce and spinach and toss for 3 minutes until well combined. You want the pasta to begin to brown and lightly toast. The spinach leafs should start to slightly wilt (do not overcook).
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with 3-ingredient homemade vegan parmesan cheese (recipe in notes below) and black pepper if desired.

Notes

How to Make Easy Vegan Parmesan Cheese
To make a batch of my favorite, easy vegan parmesan simply whisk these three ingredients together: ¾ cup almond flour (super fine from blanched whole almonds – not almond meal) + 5 teaspoons nutritional yeast + 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: vegan pasta fresca

This isn’t the first time I have made a “copycat” version of a Noodles & Company dish.  One of my other favorites is the Indonesian Peanut Saute.  Sadly, they did take this one off the menu, but I’m glad I have my homemade version so I can enjoy it whenever I’m craving it.  Here is my vegan, gluten-free, nut-free version: Noodles & Company Copycat Indonesian No-Nut Saute

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2 Comments

  1. Terra Bandin

    We just made this for dinner tonight! Super, super yummy, and easy to make! 🙂

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Aw yay! Thank you for letting me know, Terra! So happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply

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