8 vegetarian pasta dishes to channel your inner Italian side

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Pasta is such a perennial favorite, and it's easy to understand why. Available everywhere and cheap to buy, as well as being quick to cook and versatile, pasta is just as perfect for vegetarians as it is for meat-lovers.
Although some aficionados of Italian food might beg to differ, don't worry if you don't have exactly the right shape of pasta needed - most recipes are pretty forgiving and the finished dish will taste just as delizioso!
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1. Vegan roasted red pepper pasta (h/t Vegan Heaven)
Bell peppers take on a delicious smoky, sweet character when baked or seared at high temperatures. In this recipe, they make a really fabulous pasta sauce along with red onion, cashew nuts, and garlic.
2. Vegetarian tortellini pasta salad
Everyone needs to have an exceptional pasta salad recipe in their repertoire. It’s such a practical dish — easy to make, inexpensive, satisfying, and the perfect thing to take along to a potluck or picnic. The recipe below uses cheese tortellini as the base, which makes it especially filling. Get the full recipe here.
Cooktop Cove
3. Lentil and mushroom meatballs (h/t Cookie and Kate)
Vegetarians don't have to miss out on eating 'meatballs'! This genius recipe combines lentils, herbs and mushrooms for a hearty veggie alternative that is perfect with pasta and marinara sauce!
4. Garlic mac and cheese (h/t The Minimalist Baker)
Vegans can enjoy mac 'n' cheese with this brilliantly devised recipe. Nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan cheese, roasted garlic and almond milk combine to make the silky, creamy sauce. You definitely won't miss the dairy in this delicious dish!
5. Asparagus pesto lasagna (h/t Vegetarian Times)
Perfect for your next vegetarian dinner party or smart supper, this glorious combination of cheeses, pesto and asparagus is baked traditionally between layers of lasagna, for a fabulous treat meal.
6. One pot peanut sesame noodles (h/t Oh My Veggies)
Okay, the flavors here are definitely Asian, but the pasta itself (linguine) is very Italian! It's such a breeze to make as well - you can prepare this vegetable-rich, healthy fusion of sweet, salty and sesame flavors inside 30 minutes!
7. Stuffed pasta shells
Pasta shells are an Italian-American classic, but they're deceptively easy to get wrong. Many versions of this dish end up tough or overcooked, leaving you wondering why you didn't stick with simple baked ziti. The recipe below will solve all those problems. Get the full recipe here.
8. Cherry tomato basil angel hair (h/t Oh Sweet Basil)
The bright, classic Italian combination of tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic are the stars of the show here. Super-quick to prepare, you'll find yourself turning to this lovely recipe again and again!
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