Creamy, Paleo Carrot Pasta
This creamy, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free recipe is the perfect light pasta dish! Topped with crunchy gluten-free breadcrumbs and a zesty gremolata made from fresh carrot tops, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Calling All Carrot Lovers!If you can’t get enough of the orange veggie, this recipe is for you! This vegan and gluten-free recipe is the perfect unique dish to serve up this spring. It’s not only delicious, but surprisingly easy to make. Plus, it’s loaded with healthy benefits! All the more reason to try out this creamy pasta.
What’s In a Vegan Carrot Pasta Sauce?
The main component of our recipe is the carrot sauce. The list of ingredients you’ll need to make the sauce may be shorter than you’d expect!
- Olive Oil: Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a medium pot
- Shallots: I like to use two shallots instead of half a white onion because they have a softer flavor profile and pair beautifully with the carrots.
- Garlic: There’s no such thing as too much garlic! Mince four cloves very finely before adding to the pot.
- White Wine: A little dry white wine goes a long way here. Just two tablespoons will help deglaze the pan and add a touch of acidity to the dish.
- Carrots: The base of our dish is four peeled and chopped carrots.
- Vegetable Broth: The broth will help deepen the flavor of the sauce!
- Tahini Paste: While you can also use miso paste here, I love the subtle flavor that tahini gives the dish.
- Cashews: Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 20 minutes before adding to the sauce. This will help the cashews soften and release more moisture once blended.
- Nutritional Yeast: Since this recipe doesn’t use any dairy, this ingredient will help add a cheesy flavor to the sauce.
- Turmeric: My all time favorite spice! Not only does turmeric have countless nutritional benefits but it also has such a subtle flavor. It’ll add a beautiful golden color too.
- Red Pepper Flakes: If you like a little heat, just a dash of red pepper flakes is perfect!
- Salt & Pepper: Half a teaspoon of each will help balance the flavors.
Besides the above list of ingredients, you’ll also need 16 ounces of pasta. I used a gluten-free orecchiette pasta from Marcelli Formaggi. A quick tip for this pasta: cook 5 minutes past the allotted time stated on the directions. Because it’s gluten-free, it has a much firmer texture and if you cook the pasta according to the instructions listed, the pasta will be hard and chewy. It also helps to taste test as you go!
You can also use Banza Spaghetti. Banza is made with chickpeas, so it’s packed with protein, and it holds up well (which a lot of gluten-free pastas don’t!) Also, remember to save half a cup of that valuable pasta water for our sauce. Pasta water is the key ingredient to help our carrot sauce get perfectly creamy without using any dairy or cream.
What is a Gremolata?
Gremolata is a green sauce made from chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. This mixture is often served with Italian dishes, such as osso bucco. It adds a beautiful, bright flavor and lightens heavy dishes while also complementing the richness.
How Do You Make a Gremolata?
Unlike most condiments, like pesot or chimichurri, a true gremolata is not meant to be tossed in a food processor. Instead, the parsley and garlic needs to be diced extremely finely. If you use a food processor, the result will yield a more wet and parsley heavy mixture. By dicing finely, all the ingredients are able to shine evenly and it remains more rustic, as intended.
As the base of this recipe is carrot tops, we will use a cup of finely chopped carrots tops and half a cup of minced parsley. Make sure to discard the stems of the carrot tops before chopping, so that you only mince the feathery leaves. Add the greens to a bowl, then finely dice two cloves of garlic. Add to the bowl with two teaspoons of lemon zest, and half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix together, then set to the side.
Let’s Talk Breadcrumbs
Personally, I could put breadcrumbs on everything. The light crunch they give to a dish is so underrated! Homemade breadcrumbs are a breeze to make and taste much better than the store-bought brands.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then, add three pieces of gluten-free sourdough bread to a food processor. I like to use the Schar Brand because it has a similar texture and taste to non gluten-free bread. Once crumbled, spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the breadcrumbs and season with one tablespoon of garlic powder. Mix together, then toast for 15 minutes in the oven. Allow to cool for about five minutes before adding to the pasta.
The Final Result
I can’t say enough good things about this pasta dish. The combination of crunchy breadcrumbs with the silky sauce is unbeatable. And the carrot top gremolata adds the perfect hint of zest to the pasta. I’ll warn you, not only is this pasta addicting but it’s also surprisingly filling! The chickpea pasta combined with the sauce yields a good serving of plant-based protein that will keep you full without leaving you with that heavy filling. All in all, this dish is a must try!
Creamy, Paleo Carrot Pasta
For the Pasta
- 16 oz. of gluten-free pasta
For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 tablespoons of white wine
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons of tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon white miso pasta
- ¼ cup cashews, presoaked in hot water for at least 20 mins
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup pasta water
For the Gremolata
- 1 cup carrot tops, finely minced
- ½ cup parsley, finely minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
For the Breadcrumbs
- 3 pieces of gluten-free sourdough bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- For the Pasta
- Cook 16 oz. of gluten-free pasta, preserving 1/2 cup of pasta water for the sauce
- For the Sauce
- Add the olive oil, shallot, and garlic cloves to a medium-sized pot
- Sweat over medium heat for five minutes, then deglaze with the white wine
- Next, add the chopped carrots and vegetable broth
- Cook down for about seven minutes before adding the tahini paste and white miso pasta
- Stir in the tahini and miso paste, then drain and add the cashews to the pot
- Season with nutritional yeast, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
- Remove from heat and add to a blender with the pasta water
- Blend for two minutes until smooth
- For the Gremolata
- Finely mince the parsley and carrot tops
- Add to a bowl with the minced garlic cloves, lemon zest, salt, and pepper
- Mix together, then set to the side
- For the Breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Add three pieces of gluten-free sourdough bread to a food processor
- Pulse until crumbled, then pour onto the prepared baking tray
- Drizzle olive oil over the breadcrumbs and season with garlic powder
- Mix together, then bake for 15 minutes
- To Assemble
- Pour the pasta sauce over the cooked pasta and stir to evenly distribute the sauce
- Add the breadcrumbs to the pasta, stir to combine
- Add the pasta to a bowl and top with gremolata, then top with more breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes
- Refrigerate in an air tight container for up to five days