Eat - May 26, 2021

Pasta with Plant-Based Creamy Carrot Sauce

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta tossed in a creamy, rich homemade sauce. But this spring, you can skip the heavy cream and butter and still enjoy all of the luxurious texture with this recipe for vegan carrot sauce. 

Not only does this dish simply glow in your bowl, but it’s also decadent and flavorful enough to make even the most cheese-obsessed pasta aficionado fall in love. Without any cheese, butter, or cream, this dreamy orange sauce is sure to wow your taste buds. 

  • 1 pound penne or other short pasta (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 15 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or another plant-based milk)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Crispy chickpeas or vegan parmesan, optional

How to Make Carrot Sauce for Pasta

The secret ingredient in this creamy vegan pasta sauce is white miso paste. This fermented soybean paste adds intense umami flavor and a bit of tangy funkiness to the carrot sauce that elevates the entire dish. 

For a soy-free version of this recipe, use chickpea miso. And to keep things gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta. (We’re partial to Banza, which is also made from chickpeas!)

We recommend a short pasta variety, as opposed to spaghetti or bucatini. The creamy sauce coats smaller pasta shapes better. Of course, if you only have fettuccine on hand, that will do the trick!

Serving Suggestions

If you’d like to add some crunch and protein to your creamy vegan pasta dinner, you can toss a handful of crispy chickpeas into the pasta just before serving. You can make your own by roasting dried canned chickpeas until they’re crisp and golden or choose store-bought chickpea snacks

If you’re planning to store leftover pasta with carrot sauce, it’s best to leave the chickpeas separate, as they will lose some of their crunch during storage. 

Follow These Steps
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Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and return to the pot. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. 

Meanwhile, place the carrots in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer over high heat. When you reach a simmer, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the carrots are very fork-tender. Drain and return to the pot. 

Add the almond milk, miso, garlic powder, salt, sage, and lemon juice, and use an immersion blender to blend into a smooth sauce. You can also do this in an upright blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and/or garlic powder. 

Add the carrot sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Top with crispy chickpeas if you like and serve hot. 

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Photography - Sunny Frantz
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