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Shortcut Handkerchief Pasta & Vegan Pesto

Broken lasagna noodles smothered in vegan pesto are a shortcut for Italian “silk handkerchief” pasta. Mushrooms & zucchini are perfect for spring!

Bowl filled with vegan pesto handkerchief pasta, fork in the foreground

Can I just assume that you and I both adore pasta? It’s filling, delicious, fast and cheap. My daughter and I took a pasta making class together once and had SO much fun! But on a busy weeknight… we’re grabbing a box of pasta.

If you’re new to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, one of the easiest go-to meals is pasta + veg + sauce! You can get as creative or simple as you like. Maybe the spaghetti + tomato sauce version is getting boring? Let’s try something easy and fun (that’ll make you feel super gourmet)!

Silk handkerchief pasta – or mandilli di seta in Italian – are glossy, thin, squares of gorgeous pasta. If you’d like to make them from scratch, below video (in Italian) of the traditional way…. Buuuut, the rest of us will be breaking up lasagna noodle sheets, because we’re fancy but hangry!

Let’s Make Handkerchief Pasta & Vegan Pesto!

Ingredients for Vegan Pesto Handkerchief Pasta
Lasagna noodles, zucchini & mushrooms.
Vegan Pesto: basil, garlic, pine nuts, butter beans, nutritional yeast

Handkerchief Pasta

Boil and salt a big pot of water. Break lasagna noodles into the water. Cook until almost al dente. Gently stir occasionally to prevent clumping.

Hands breaking lasagna into boiling water

Vegan Pesto

While the pasta is boiling, add all dry pesto ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture, until creamy. This version uses half a can of butter beans, to add a little boost of nutrition, protein and body to the pesto.

Drain most of the pasta water, reserving about 1 cup in the pot. Set the lasagna aside in a bowl. Add mushrooms and zucchini to the pot with a drizzle of olive oil. Saute until just softened (about 5 minutes).

Return the lasagna noodles to the pot. Add pesto. Stir and heat through. Serve immediately.

Bowl of mandilli di seta (handkerchief pasta) topped with mushrooms, zucchini and vegan pesto

Hungry for more quick, vegan pasta? Try these!

Printable Recipe

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Bowl filled with vegan pesto handkerchief pasta, fork in the foreground

Quick Handkerchief Pasta (Fazzoletti) & Vegan Pesto

  • Author: Katie Allen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Broken lasagna noodles smothered in vegan pesto are a shortcut for Italian “silk handkerchief” pasta. Mushrooms & zucchini make it perfect for spring!


Scale

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced

Creamy Vegan Pesto

  • 7oz butter beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 cups kale
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with salted water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add lasagna noodles, breaking them into 4-5 pieces as you add them.
  3. While the pasta cooks, add all pesto ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor or high-speed blender. Turn processor on, and slowly drizzle olive oil until the mixture has just begun to blend smoothly.
  4. When the pasta is nearly al dente, drain most of the pasta water, reserving about 1 cup in the pot.
  5. Set the lasagna aside in a bowl.
  6. Add mushrooms and zucchini to the pot with a drizzle of olive oil. Saute until just softened (about 5 minutes).
  7. Return the lasagna noodles to the pot. Add pesto. Stir and heat through.
  8. Serve immediately.


Notes

This recipe is vegan & vegetarian.

Leftovers: Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Before reheating, an extra drizzle of olive oil will help rehydrate the noodles.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 704
  • Sugar: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 52mg
  • Fat: 37.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 74.5g
  • Fiber: 14.9g
  • Protein: 30.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: vegan pesto, handkerchief pasta, vegan pasta

I'm a tacotarian, a mom and pun-maker. Feeding people is my love language, and I'm passionate about helping people feel confident in being their own kind of vegan/vegetarian. I'm commonly found in the school pick-up lane, bulk buying tortilla chips and in front of the fireplace.

11 Responses

  1. I’ve never thought of tearing up lasagna sheets – that’s genius! I have torn up spaghetti noodles though (I usually cut my pasta to avoid twirling, so this saves time)! And your vegan pesto looks DELICIOUS!!

    1. Thanks, Alexandra! I’m obsessed with this pesto… it’s so true! The sneaky kale helps me get a little extra greens in my day, because I am NOT a salad girl LOL!

    1. Thank you SO much, Shanika! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love nothing more than a big delicious bowl of pasta! Hope you like it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love that you used broken pieces of lasagna noodles! It sounds so perfect coated in that creamy pesto with the mushrooms. Yum!

    1. The broken lasagna noodles were such a fun idea! Usually we try so hard to keep the long lasagne noodles whole… not this time! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much, hope you like it!

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