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The genius (and vegan-approved) hack for making your creamy pastas a bit healthier


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Photo: Little Brown and Company
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Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Photo: Isa Chandra Moskowitz

No matter what’s stressing you out—a fight with your best friend, an angry email from your boss, or simply the day’s news—it often leads to the same impulse: parking it on the couch and eating a big bowl of mac and cheese. Even if you log five miles every day before most people get out of bed, turning to food for comfort is, well, normal.

That goes for all types of eaters—and it’s partially why rockstar vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz opened her restaurant Modern Love, with outposts in Omaha, NE, and, more recently, Brooklyn. “I want to make innovative—but approachable—vegan food that’s both really delicious and accessible,” she says. (On the menu? Healthy versions of classics like pot pie and vegetable korma—with not a drop of cream in sight.)

“Even if you just keep a bag of baby kale in your fridge and just throw a couple handful into whatever you’re making, it will make your dish more nutrient-dense.”

But the big question is: When you’re the master of plant-based cuisine, what do you cook for yourself after a bad day?

For the Vegan With a Vengeance author (who now has a total of nine books under her belt), it’s a big bowl of pasta with broccoli and lots of garlic. “I add veggies to classic dishes, going heavier on the veggies than the carbs,” she says. “So with my mac and cheese, I load it up with lentils and broccoli. Even if you just keep a bag of baby kale in your fridge and just throw a couple handful into whatever you’re making, it will make your dish more nutrient-dense.”

Ready to comfort yourself the Moskowitz way? Keep reading for her broccoli garlic pasta recipe.

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Truffled Almond Alfredo with Really Garlicky Broccoli

Serves 4

Ingredients
For the Alfredo
1 cup slivered almonds
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp black truffle oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. linguine

For the broccoli
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
6 cups broccoli florets and thinly sliced stems
Salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the Alfredo
1. In a blender, combine the almonds, broth, truffle oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Puree until relatively smooth. This can take up to five minutes depending on the strength of your machine. Periodically stop the machine to keep it from overheating, and scrape down the sides of the blender jar with a rubber spatula to make sure you get everything. Keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container until ready to use.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the linguine according to the package directions.

For the broccoli
1. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Heat one tablespoon of the oil, then sauté the broccoli with a big pinch of salt, tossing often, until it’s bright green, approximately 5–7 minutes. Add a few splashes of water if it seems dry.

2. Now push the broccoli to one side of the pan and add the garlic. Immediately drizzle the remaining teaspoon of olive oil over the garlic and toss to coat, then integrate the garlic with the broccoli and cook for another minute.

3. Drain the pasta and immediately return it to the pot you boiled it in. Add the sauce and parsley and toss to coat. Taste and adjust for salt and seasoning. Serve with the broccoli.

Sometimes you need something sweet—hey, even Tom and Gisele like dessertthese low-sugar recipes are healthy and delicious.

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