Zucchini Basil Linguine with Red Peppers and Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Today is yet another freezing cold day in good old Manitoba. After I walked my daughter to school this morning I felt like my face was going to fall off. I often have to ask myself why it is that we live in such a place where we have to hibernate for 4 months out of the year. Then I remind myself of the positive side of having frigid winters (yes there is a positive side) and that is that having such cold winters really makes you appreciate the summer. I can’t wait to be outside again in the sunshine, enjoying outdoor activities with my girls and spending hours at the beach, laying on the sand and listening to the waves crashing on the shore. Or going for long walks together as a family and having Autumn sing her made up silly songs the entire time she rides her bike. I keep telling myself that it will be here soon enough and so will our baby. There is another positive side to winter as well and that is spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking delicious things for my family. 🙂 Here is what we enjoyed for dinner last night.

Zucchini Basil Linguine with Red Peppers and Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This is a recipe that I invented one day, combining a few of my favorite things. I have always loved pasta and often enjoy grilled zucchini sandwiches with basil and sun-dried tomatoes, so one day I decided to combine the two. I am always looking for ways to add lots of vegetables to my favorite meals. I find that I can eat a lot more of them that way and so can the girls. A restaurant-style meal in under 20 minutes! I recommend serving this with a side salad and/or garlic bread. Yum!

serves 4-6

  • 1 box (375g) of whole wheat or spelt linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese (recipe below)

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This cheese is a staple around our house. Use it in pasta dishes, on pizzas or in salads. YUM!

Makes about one cup of ‘cheese’

  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until mixture is completely ground and resembles Parmesan cheese. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.


Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook linguine as directed on package to desired tenderness. Place a skillet on medium heat along with the sunflower oil. Add the diced zucchini, basil and red peppers and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft. You may want to add a bit of water to the skillet to help soften the vegetables, about 2 tablespoons or so. Drain the pasta and add the basil zucchini and peppers to the pasta along with the pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese and stir everything together until combined.