Who doesn't enjoy a good cheese and tomato pasta? It’s often hard, however, to hide those pangs of guilt that come with thinking that you should be eating something healthier than pasta, cheese and tomato (as they ingredients don’t exactly scream healthy). Not anymore!
This delicious tomato cheese pasta recipe from the ever-talented Elle Frizzell, is packed with skin-nourishing and anti-ageing ingredients that not only taste great but will help you look and feel great too!
Benefits of Tomato Pasta Sauce
Looking for really healthy, beautiful skin? You might want to eat more tomato pasta sauce.
It sounds like a joke, but it turns out the classic combo of olive oil and tomatoes is filled with goodies that may give your skin an antioxidant boost to calm inflammation, reduce sun damage, and fight back against fine lines.
Sadly, this doesn’t mean we get to binge on pizza or cheesy tomato pasta in the name of glowing skin. At this point, scientists haven’t found any proven skin benefits of wheat flour (yes, it makes me sad too). But more and more dermatologists are telling people to get on the tomato train because of the many benefits of something called lycopene — the nutrient your skin never even knew it needed.
As you might already know, our skin becomes more sensitive to things like sun damage as we get older. Lycopene, however, is a nutrient that works to protect your skin from the inside out.
While it’s definitely not considered a replacement for using sunscreen, studies have shown that lycopene can protect your skin from harmful UV rays. In one study, subjects were exposed to UV rays before and after taking either 16 milligrams of lycopene derived from tomato paste or a placebo. Those who took the tomato paste showed much less severe skin reactions to the UV rays compared to the placebo group. A similar study found that taking between eight and 16 milligrams of lycopene (from food or supplements) resulted in a 40 to 50 percent reduction in sun damage to the skin. That’s pretty impressive!
About the recipe creator:
I’m Elle, a nutritionist, food photographer, soon to be qualified personal trainer, podcaster and blogger at ellefrizzell.com. I’m all about holistic health and have a particular interest in skin and gut health due to experiencing cystic acne and leaky gut. I am a huge foodie and if I’m not sweating my face off in the gym, I’ll be in my kitchen testing out new healthy recipes.
I think vegan collagen is great for adding skin and gut nourishing ingredients to smoothie bowls, raw snacks, treats and drinks. I’m a big fan of the vitamin C rich camu camu, which I often use to make immunity shots in the winter.
Health & happiness, Elle x
Tomato and Cheese Pasta with Walnut Parmesan by @ellefrizzell
Ingredients for pasta with tomato sauce and cheese
- A serving of pasta of your choice*
- A few fresh basil leaves to serve
For the tomato and cream cheese pasta sauce
- 3 salad tomatoes (the large ones)
- ½ a large red bell pepper
- ¼ red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- Olive oil for roasting and sautéing
- Salt & black pepper
For the Walnut Parmesan
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp smoked garlic powder
- Pinch salt
*Pictured is brown rice pasta but for a higher protein option try edamame, black bean, chickpea or lentil pasta.
Method for Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the pepper in half and the tomatoes into quarters, place them on a baking tray. Drizzle them with olive oil, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Roast them for approx. 30 mins or until soft and coming away from their skins.
- Whilst they roast make the walnut parmesan by adding the nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt to a food processor. The more nutritional yeast you add, the “cheesier” the vegan cheesy pasta will be. Pulse until a crumb like texture is achieved. Alternatively grind the nuts in a pestle and mortar. Set the walnut parmesan aside.
- When the tomatoes and pepper are almost done, finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat a pan with a little olive oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 mins or until softened.
- Transfer the tomatoes, pepper, garlic and onion to a blender along with the almond milk and tomato paste. Blend until the tomato pasta sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Boil a pan of water for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, transfer the cheesy tomato pasta sauce to a saucepan and simmer on a low heat to thicken slightly and keep warm.
- Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, strain and serve with the vegetarian tomato pasta sauce. Don’t forget to your tomato pasta cheese by topping it with the walnut parmesan. Add a few fresh basil leaves if desired.
How is this Vegan Cheese Pasta Sauce so cheesy without any cheese?
Traditional cheese tomato and pasta dishes were usually loaded with salty, bloat inducing dairy cheese to get that tomato and cream cheese pasta, comfort food vibe. Not to mention, it usually wasn’t enough to have tomato pasta vegetarian, meaning this pasta, cheese, tomato combo was always served with some kind of meat.
However, with time and major advancements in the vegan dairy alternatives industry, this cream cheese and tomato pasta dish is not only vegan friendly, it also won’t make you bloat, is easy to digest and (most importantly) takes only 20 minutes to whip up – perfect for a mid-week dinner! Did you try this recipe out?
Nutritional information per serve: