Meera Sodha’s Vegan Recipe for Broken Bean and Arugula Pasta | Food

OWe have to talk about the lasagna sheets. I always have a box in the closet, though I rarely put the time and effort into making a lasagna (a biannual event at most). Unlike most other pasta, where the shape dictates what you make of it, lasagna is the most flexible of all in that you can break it up however you like. Here I’ve used them to mimic fazzoletti, or handkerchief pasta, which is usually served with pesto. Here I used fava beans and arugula as a base for a kind of pesto and chopped them with toasted almonds, nutritional yeast and lemon.

Shortcrust pastry with fava beans and arugula

You will need a blender or food processor. Nutritional yeast adds a deep, savory flavor and is widely available in supermarkets. To quickly thaw the beans, pour a little boiling water, let stand for a minute, then drain. Most dried lasagna sheets are naturally vegan (but double check, some contain eggs).


Preparation 10 minutes
To cook 20 mins
Serves 4

75g slivered almonds
200g frozen broad beansthawed, i.e. approximately 600 g shelled fresh beans
1 clove of garlicpeeled
120ml extra virgin olive oilmore a little more to finish
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons lemon juice
(from 1-2 lemons)
100g wild arugula
Fine sea salt
350g dried lasagna
ebroken in half (or in big shards)

Put a skillet over medium heat until hot, then add all the slivered almonds and cook, stirring every 30 seconds, for three to four minutes, until golden brown. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking.

Place the beans, garlic, oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, 75g arugula, 50g almonds and three quarters of a teaspoon of salt in a food processor and process until to get a coarse pesto-like texture.

Bring two liters of water to a boil, then add two teaspoons of salt. Stir the water vigorously, then add the pasta and boil for about eight minutes, until tender but still a little crisp. Take a cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Return the drained pasta to the still hot pan, pour in the sauce and about 200ml of reserved water and stir vigorously, so that each piece of pasta is evenly coated in the sauce. Check the seasoning, adding a little more salt or extra pasta water as needed for taste and texture: you want a loose sauce, but one that still clings to each piece of pasta.

Divide the pasta among plates or shallow bowls and place a small handful of the remaining 25g arugula in the center of each mound. Scatter the remaining 25g of almonds on top, generously drizzle each serving with olive oil and serve.