Vegetarian Pasta Dishes: From Our Kitchen to Yours

Enjoy Vegetarian Pasta that's Healthy and Delicious

Vegetarian pasta dishes offer a delightful journey through the rich tapestry of flavours and textures that can be created without meat. From the robust and hearty to the light and zesty, a vegetarian pasta dish suits every palate.

At Piccolino Woodfired Pizza and Homemade Pasta, the menu is a testament to this diversity, showcasing a range of options that highlight the versatility of pasta. Whether tossed in a tangy tomato sauce, enriched with a creamy alfredo, or adorned with a vibrant array of garden-fresh vegetables, each dish is crafted to bring out the very best of the ingredients.

The commitment to homemade pasta ensures that every bite is as fresh as it is delicious, providing a truly authentic Italian dining experience.

Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

Here are various Vegetarian Pasta recipes from Piccolino that you can replicate at home. 

Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Napoli

Here's a simple recipe to make Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Napoli with Puréed tomatoes and seasonal herbs, and topped with shaved parmesan:


  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can of puréed tomatoes
  • Seasonal herbs (such as basil, oregano, thyme)
  • Shaved parmesan for topping


  1. Prepare the Gnocchi: Boil the potatoes until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and mash them until they are soft and smooth. Gradually add the flour and knead until you get a smooth and soft dough.
  2. Shape the Gnocchi: Roll the dough into long ropes, cut it into small pieces, and press with a fork to create ridges.
  3. Cook the Gnocchi: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the top.
  4. Prepare the Sauce: In a saucepan, sauté onions until they soften. Then add garlic and cook for a further half minute. Add the puréed tomato and season with salt, Pepper, sugar, and herbs. Cook at low heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Combine and Serve: Drain the gnocchi and add them to the sauce. Stir until the gnocchi are well coated. Serve hot, topped with shaved parmesan.

Enjoy your homemade Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Napoli!

Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Cenere 

Let's create a delightful Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Cenere dish with a rich and flavorful combination of ingredients. Here's a step-by-step guide:


  • Potato Gnocchi (store-bought or homemade)
  • Black Olive Purée (made from pitted black olives)
  • Cream (total fat or half and half)
  • Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Walnuts
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish


1. Prepare the Gnocchi:

  • If using store-bought gnocchi, follow the instructions to cook them until they float to the surface. If making homemade gnocchi, boil them until they float (usually 2-3 minutes).
  • Drain the gnocchi and set aside.

2. Make the Black Olive Purée:

  • Blend pitted black olives in a food processor until you get a smooth purée. Add a touch of olive oil if needed.

3. Prepare the Cream Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, melt a generous amount of butter over medium heat.
  • Add the cream and stir well. Adjust the quantity based on your preference.
  • Season with salt and Pepper.

4. Add Gorgonzola:

  • Crumble the gorgonzola cheese into the cream sauce. Stir until it melts and combine with the cream.
  • The Gorgonzola adds a tangy and creamy flavour to the dish.

5. Toss the Gnocchi:

  • Add the cooked gnocchi to the cream sauce. Toss gently to coat them evenly.
  • The gnocchi will soak up the delicious flavours of the sauce.

6. Serve with Black Olive Purée and Walnuts:

  • Spread a layer of black olive purée on the serving plate.
  • Arrange the creamy gnocchi on top of the purée.
  • Sprinkle crushed walnuts over the gnocchi for added texture and nuttiness.

7. Garnish and Enjoy:

  • Garnish with fresh parsley leaves.
  • Serve the Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Cenere warm and enjoy the delightful blend of flavours!

Remember, this dish is all about creamy goodness, earthy olives, and the bold flavour of Gorgonzola. Bon appétit!

Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Norma 

Creating a Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Norma is a delightful way to enjoy classic Italian flavours. Here's a recipe inspired by traditional methods and the search results:


  • 500g potato gnocchi (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 400g can of puréed tomatoes
  • 100g ricotta salata, crumbled
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


1. Prepare the Eggplant:

  • Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the cubed eggplant and fry until golden brown and tender—season with salt and set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.

2. Sauté the Onion:

  • Add a little more olive oil, if needed, in the same pan and sauté the onions until translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

3. Make the Tomato Sauce:

  • Pour the puréed tomatoes into the pan with the onions and garlic.
  • Season with salt and Pepper, and let it simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

4. Cook the Gnocchi:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions, usually 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface.
  • Drain the gnocchi and add them to the tomato sauce, gently stirring to coat.

5. Combine and Serve:

  • Add the fried eggplant to the sauce and gnocchi mixture.
  • Sprinkle over the crumbled ricotta salata and torn basil leaves.
  • Give everything a gentle toss to combine.

6. Finish and Plate:

  • Serve the Gnocchi Norma hot, with an extra olive oil drizzle and a basil sprinkle on top for garnish.

Enjoy your Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Norma with the rich flavours of puréed tomatoes, ricotta salata's creaminess, and basil's freshness. Buon appetito!

Vegetarian Potato Gnocchi Mushroom Truffle 

Here's a recipe for vegetarian potato gnocchi with a mushroom truffle sauce, sautéed mushrooms, cream, chopped parsley, and shaved parmesan. 


  • 2 1/4 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • A mix of crimini (chestnut) mushrooms and shiitake
  • Dry white wine or vegetable stock
  • Fresh thyme
  • Cream
  • Truffle oil
  • Chopped parsley


  1. Prepare the Gnocchi: Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Once cooled, peel and mash them—mix in the eggs, sifted flour, grated parmesan, salt, and Pepper. Roll the dough into long snakes, cut into small pieces, and press with a fork to make the traditional gnocchi shape.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic and brown slightly. Add the mushrooms and toss well. Cook until the mushrooms are slightly browned, tossing them often—season with salt and Pepper and a couple of tablespoons of the gnocchi cooking water. Finish by adding the butter and the truffle oil.
  3. Cook the Gnocchi: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Combine: Toss the cooked gnocchi in the mushroom truffle sauce. Before serving, garnish with chopped parsley and shaved parmesan.

Enjoy your meal! 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Napoli 

Here's a delightful recipe for vegetarian spaghetti napoli. It features a rich tomato-based sauce infused with seasonal herbs and topped with shaved parmesan. Let's get cooking!


  • 2 cans of tomatoes (finely chopped and cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for topping)


1. Sauté Onion:

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Stir frequently to prevent burning.

2. Add Garlic:

  • Next, stirring frequently, add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute.

3. Create the Tomato Sauce:

  • Add the canned tomatoes (finely chopped and cherry tomatoes) to the pot.
  • Season with salt and Pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the sauce to a boil.

4. Simmer and Infuse Flavor:

  • Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • The flavours will meld together beautifully.

5. Cook the Spaghetti:

  • While the sauce simmers, cook your spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • Drain the cooked spaghetti and set aside.

6. Combine Sauce and Spaghetti:

  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the saucepan with the tomato sauce.
  • Toss everything together until it is well combined.
  • Add a touch of the pasta cooking water to create a juicy consistency.

7. Serve and Garnish:

  • Plate the Vegetarian Spaghetti Napoli.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a generous sprinkle of shaved Parmesan cheese.

Secrets for Success: 

  • Use high-quality canned tomatoes for the best flavour.
  • The olive oil adds richness and velvety smoothness to the marinara sauce.
  • Adjust the seasoning (salt and Pepper) to your taste.

This Napoli-style sauce is versatile and can serve as a base for other pasta dishes. Buon appetito!

Vegetarian Spaghetti Cenere 

To make Vegetarian Spaghetti Cenere with Black Olive Purée, Cream, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • Spaghetti
  • Gorgonzola cheese
  • Black olives
  • Heavy cream
  • Walnuts
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Here's a step-by-step guide to creating this dish:

  1. Prepare the Black Olive Purée: Pit and chop the black olives roughly. You can use a food processor for a few pulses, but don't turn it into a paste; you want to see some pieces for the "cenere" look.
  2. Cook the spaghetti: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook it until it is al dente.
  3. Make the Gorgonzola Cream Sauce: Combine crumbled Gorgonzola cheese with heavy cream in a pan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the cheese melts and the sauce becomes creamy.
  4. Combine: Drain the spaghetti and mix it into the Gorgonzola cream sauce. Add a ladleful of pasta cooking water if needed to adjust the consistency.
  5. Add the Black Olive Purée: Stir in the black olive purée into the pasta and sauce mixture until well combined.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Top with chopped walnuts, season with salt and Pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot and enjoy!

This dish is a beautiful blend of Gorgonzola's creamy texture and the unique flavour of black olives, complemented by the crunch of walnuts. It's a gourmet meal that's simple to prepare and sure to impress. Bon appétit! 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Cenere
Vegetarian Spaghetti Cenere 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Norma 

Vegetarian Spaghetti alla Norma is a delightful Sicilian pasta dish with tender eggplant, herby tomato sauce, and ricotta salata cheese. It's a comforting and flavorful meal that even meat lovers will enjoy. Here's how you can make it:


1. Eggplant: You'll need two globe eggplants. Choose ones with deep-coloured, shiny skins that feel heavy for their size.

2. Tomato Sauce (Marinara): You can make your marinara sauce using extra virgin olive oil, canned diced tomatoes, minced garlic, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat), and a dash of kosher salt and black Pepper. Alternatively, you can use a quality store-bought marinara sauce.

3. Pasta: I recommend using a short, cylinder-shaped pasta like rigatoni with ridges. The ridges will hold onto the tomato sauce, making each bite flavorful.

4. Ricotta Salata Cheese: This cheese is salty and more firm than regular ricotta, adding a lovely finishing touch.

5. Fresh Parsley: For garnish.


1. Roast the Eggplant:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Slice the eggplant into rounds (about 1/2-inch thick).
  • Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and Pepper.
  • Roast in the oven until tender and golden brown (about 20-25 minutes).

2. Prepare the Tomato Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, heat some olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Stir in a pinch of chilli flakes (adjust to your taste) and canned diced tomatoes.
  • Season with dried oregano, salt, and Pepper.
  • Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.

3. Cook the Pasta:

  • While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to package instructions.
  • Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.

4. Combine Everything:

  • Stir the roasted eggplant slices into the tomato sauce.
  • Add the cooked pasta and the reserved pasta water.
  • Toss everything together until evenly coated.

5. Serve:

  • Divide the pasta among serving bowls.
  • Sprinkle generously with crumbled ricotta salata cheese.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley leaves if desired.

Enjoy your comforting and flavorful Vegetarian Spaghetti alla Norma! 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Norma
Vegetarian Spaghetti Norma

Vegetarian Spaghetti Mushroom Truffle

Here's a simple recipe for Vegetarian Spaghetti Mushroom Truffle:


  1. Spaghetti - 200g
  2. Fresh mushrooms - 200g
  3. Truffle oil - 2 tbsp
  4. Heavy cream - 100ml
  5. Fresh parsley - a handful, chopped
  6. Parmesan cheese - 50g, shaved
  7. Salt - to taste
  8. Black Pepper - to taste
  9. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  10. Garlic - 2 cloves, minced


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are browned and tender.
  4. Pour in the heavy cream and stir well. Simmer for a few minutes until the cream has thickened slightly.
  5. Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and toss well to combine. Make sure all the spaghetti is coated with the creamy mushroom sauce.
  6. Drizzle the truffle oil over the spaghetti and toss again to combine.
  7. Season with salt and black Pepper to taste.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped parsley and shaved parmesan over the top of the spaghetti.
  9. Serve the Vegetarian Spaghetti Mushroom Truffle hot, with extra parmesan on the side if desired.

Enjoy your meal! 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Mushroom Truffle

Piccolino's vegetarian pasta recipes offer a delightful journey through authentic Italian cuisine, focusing on fresh, plant-based ingredients. Each dish is a testament to the restaurant's commitment to flavour and health, inviting diners to indulge in a guilt-free experience. To savour the essence of Italy on your plate, make a reservation at Piccolino and discover the art of vegetarian pasta perfected.

Chef Andrea Fioriti holding pasta as he looks down on the table
A yellow illustration of the Italian map
"We take pride in an authentic approach to making woodfired pizza, and are responsible for some of this city's best house-made pasta and gnocchi dishes. We are also the very proud creator of a Melbourne first and our now most talked about dish, the Spag Bowl"

Andrea Fioriti ~ Head Chef & Owner

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