My love affair with turmeric continues, this time with a nourishing yet still comforting turmeric pasta dish. This is actually the third post in my "Golden" series, in which I celebrate this magical, healthful, gold-hued spice. Make sure to check out my Golden Granola and my Golden Farro as well. And although it's not technically part of this series, my Turmeric Tahini Drizzle might just be the recipe here on the blog that I make most frequently at home.
Like my Golden Farro, this golden pasta dish is loosely inspired by the flavors in "golden milk", which is typically a plant-based milk (coconut is common) infused with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, sometimes other warming spices like nutmeg, and sometimes black pepper. It's a good-for-the-body coffee shop type drink that can be enjoyed hot or cold and has a sunny gold color. This recipe takes those cozy flavors and brings in a few additional savory notes plus a couple fresh, tropical touches; the end result is a creamy vegan pasta dish that is both comforting and fresh.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Although turmeric has been enjoyed in some cultures for centuries, it has only recently become trendy in the western world. Its recent rise to stardom is well-deserved! It has many health benefits, but is most often touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. I take a turmeric supplement at least a few times a week, but I try to work this golden spice into my diet as often as possible too; hence, this non-traditional but wonderful turmeric pasta recipe was born.
Turmeric can work well in both savory and sweet recipes, so it's a versatile spice that you can use frequently. I mix it into my lunch-time oatmeal every day at the office, and I try to use it in a few dinners a week. If you're new to turmeric, I suggest starting with my Turmeric Tahini Drizzle since it's very easy to tweak the proportions based on your preferences, plus you can taste it and adjust as you go.
I should note that turmeric generally comes in two forms: powdered (like any powdered spice) and fresh (as a root). You'll be able to find turmeric powder pretty much anywhere, so that's typically what I suggest using in recipes. Fresh turmeric root is an extra-special gift that we can generally only find on Kaua'i (see the orange roots that look sort of like ginger in some of these photos); you may get lucky and see it at your local food Co-Op or health food store too. It has a fabulous, fresh flavor and an incredible smell! Feel free to sub fresh turmeric into this golden pasta recipe if you're fortunate enough to get your hands on some.
What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
This is a tricky question, since turmeric has quite a unique flavor. It has a little bit of a ginger vibe, but it's much less zingy. It's a tiny bit earthy and has some subtle tropical notes, and overall is a bit similar to saffron. It blends especially well with ginger and other warming spices, or in recipes that have a dash of sweetness. If you're new to turmeric, I suggest starting with less than what the recipe calls for (this turmeric pasta recipe in particular, or any other recipe) and working your way up. It's sort of an acquired taste that can be borderline overpowering at first but becomes seriously seductive the more you use it.
Make It Your Own
There are a lot of ways to change up this turmeric pasta dish to make it work for you. Most importantly, everyone has different palettes when it comes to spices, so I highly suggest that you tweak the amounts to fit your own tastes. You can always start small and add more as you go. Feel free to use fresh turmeric if you have it, to choose your own crunchy garnishes (cashews would be great too, instead of peanuts), and to make this dish spicy with an additional few pinches of cayenne.
If you're planning to make this golden pasta ahead of time, I have a few suggestions. Most importantly, pasta can soak up sauce if it sits, causing the dish to feel not saucy enough. That's alright for leftovers; however, if you're intentionally preparing this creamy vegan pasta dish ahead, I suggest making just the sauce a day (or two) in advance and storing it in the refrigerator. When you're almost ready to eat, boil the pasta and toss it in the rewarmed sauce. Additionally, you can easily double the sauce recipe and store half of it in the freezer for later; it will freeze well in a sealed container for a few months.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Pasta of choice. In the recipe card, you'll see that I suggest using a bean-based pasta. We love using chick pea or red lentil pastas since they're delicious and loaded with protein. Feel free to use what you prefer though. This sauce will work best with a short cut of twirly pasta such as rotini, cavatappi, radiatori, etc.
Full-fat coconut milk. This creamy vegan pasta relies on coconut milk for its decadent texture, so I don't suggest using light coconut milk. Make sure you look for full-fat coconut milk in a can.
Turmeric. The star of this golden pasta! If by chance you can get your hands on fresh turmeric, use it. This recipe will work fine with turmeric powder though. Feel free to adjust the amount based on your own tastes.
Ginger root. Definitely use freshly-grated ginger root if you can, its much more flavorful than ginger powder.
Cayenne. This is optional, but I like to use just a little pinch of cayenne to give this recipe some zing.
Lime juice. Freshly-squeezed always!
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Roasted salted peanuts
Fresh mint and/or cilantro
What do you think about this sunny turmeric pasta? Are you loving this "Golden" series of recipes as much as I am? Turmeric is such a special, versatile ingredient and I'm so excited to be celebrating it in some unexpected ways. We often expect to see turmeric in curries, but I'm so happy to be bringing you golden-hued granola, farro, and now golden pasta. Can you guess what the fourth recipe in this series will be?? I already have it photographed and am beyond excited.
Golden milk has such a nourishing, healing, comforting vibe. I've had such fun taking those flavors and working them into savory recipes that we can enjoy frequently, like this anti-inflammatory, nourishing, creamy vegan pasta. I can't wait for you to try some of my "Golden" recipes and for you to fall as deeply in love with turmeric as I have!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
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This nourishing, creamy vegan pasta is bursting with unexpected tropical flavors. Loosely inspired by the ingredients in golden milk, it's comforting and fresh at the same time and is a great way to enjoy turmeric.
In a large skillet, saute the sweet onion in a dash of coconut oil over medium heat until tender and transparent (try to avoid browning the onion since it will adversely affect the color of your final dish). Cool the skillet to medium/low heat.
To the skillet with the onion, add the coconut milk, maple syrup, turmeric, ginger, cayenne (optional), and salt, then cook for about 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
Add the lime juice to the skillet at the end of the cooking time.
Carefully pour the sauce into a high-power blender and blend until a rich, homogeneous texture develops.
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce over the top and toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Garnish with shredded coconut, roasted salted peanuts, and fresh mint and/or cilantro, then serve immediately.