This creamy tomato sauce recipe is the perfect complement to protein-packed chickpea pasta. In the world of vegan pasta recipes, it perfectly pairs the sweet and savory of coconut cream, with the rich umami of caramelized tomato paste and the spicy bite of crush red pepper.
Heat up a dry large skillet. When hot, add the pine nuts and lightly toast. Set aside.
Heat up a large skillet with 1 T. olive oil. When shimmering, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until soft and slightly browned. Add the tomatoes and the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted, but still bright green. Set aside.
Heat up a large skillet with 1 T. olive oil. When shimmering, add the onions. Sauté on medium to low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft. Then add the garlic. Cook a few minutes more. Be careful to avoid burning the garlic.
Add the tomato paste. Stir frequently and cook until the tomato pasta has caramelized, taking on a deep red, brownish color.
Add the basil, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper and allow to cook 1 minute more.
Add the diced tomatoes and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
While the tomato sauce is simmering, prepare the chickpea pasta according to the package directions.
Add the brown sugar and coconut milk. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Gently toss the pasta together with the pasta sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach. Season with fresh minced basil and toasted pine nuts.