Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Victoria Vegan Pasta Sauces & Al Dente BonaChia Pasta

Italy is on my list of places to visit, but I've always wondered how vegan-friendly it will be. When I first went vegetarian, Italian restaurants were my go-to because, back in the day, veggie food was hard to find. But, over time, I've learned that Italian restaurants are not always veggie-friendly and, in fact, are often not veggie-friendly at all with dishes like eggplant parmigiana and fresh noodles made with eggs. So, I've resorted to finding vegan-friendly pastas on my own and preparing them at home with store-bought sauces as there are a plethora of vegan options in the grocery store.

One of the coolest items I found this year at the food shows is the Al Dente BonaChia pastas. Al Dente is the first company in the world to put omega-3 rich chia seed flour into pasta for a nutritional boost. You don't actually taste the chia, but you know it is in there so you feel good knowing you are doing your body good. These noodles cook in just 3 minutes because they are rolled out rather than extruded so they are perfect for a weeknight meal. There are three types: fettuccine, linguine, and spinach fettucine.

I paired the noodles with the new Victoria Fine Foods Vegan pasta sauces. First off, I had to try these just because of their name. I mean, how many companies are bold enough to put "vegan" in their name? Not many. Why the name? Well, one of the individuals at Victoria Fine Foods found she could no longer eat dairy so they developed some of her favorite sauces using vegan ingredients! That is great for everyone. They make regular pasta sauces such as the Italian Veggie and White Bean Marinara. They also make a vegan Vodka sauce as well as several alfredo sauces, which are usually nearly impossible to find vegan.

I really liked all of the Al Dente pastas. The Fettucine and Linguine have a light, subtle flavor while the Spinach Fettucine has a bit more kick with the added spinach. My favorite was the spinach fettucine.

Of the Victoria Vegan Alfredo sauces, I really liked the Arugula Pesto the best over the Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke sauces.  The arugula pesto, shown here with the BonaChia fettucine, is super thick and creamy with a strong arugula taste and a hint of pesto. It is made with cashew cream, fresh basil, lemon juice, arugula, fresh garlic, pine nuts, and other spices and preservatives.

The other sauce that I really liked was the Vegan Vodka sauce. Vodka sauce is usually made with heavy cream, butter, and cheese, but not this one. It is loaded with chunks of tomatoes, soy protein, onions, garlic, basil, and, of course, vodka. It is very good, but also high in fat so use it sparingly. Please note that I ate all of the Al Dente noodles before I got to trying this sauce so the noodles shown below are not Al Dente's. Sorry.

Victoria Vegan Vodka sauce shown w/whole wheat pappardelle (not al dente)

The Al Dente BonaChia pastas are sold nationwide in Whole Foods and other grocers for $3.69 per bag -- a great deal. You can also find them here. The Victoria Vegan sauces vary in size and price from 18-ounce alfredo sauces for $7.99 to 25-ounce marinara sauces for $8.99. For a list of where their sauces are sold, go here. Buon Appetito!


  1. Simplicity is beautiful. I love the simple pasta because they are easy to make for newbies like me. I am liking this one due to its delightful simplicity.

  2. Yes, pasta dishes are my go-to meal when I need fresh and easy!

  3. I found the Victoria Vegan Sauces (well, 4 of them) at my local Houston grocery store for 4.49! I guess they are being priced to sell.