Delicious Mushroom Magic Recipe

Pasta is always on high rotation at my place, so I often put on my creative kitchen witch hat and fuse together different cuisines to keep things fresh and interesting. This one mixes Italian-style spaghetti with a light Asian twist that is comforting and seriously flavorful. The rich cashew Alfredo sauce beautifully coats the noodles and the silky mushrooms and spinach add some texture and necessary complexity. This is an easy, quick, decadent meal that is a so easy to fall in love with!

SERVES 4

SAUCE

1 cup (140 g) raw cashews, soaked in very hot water for 12 minutes (see Note)

⅓ cup (80 ml) water

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

Juice of ½ to 1 lemon

2 to 3 tsp (6 to 8 g) nutritional yeast

½ tsp garlic powder

Crushed red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

PASTA

1 lb (455 g) whole wheat spaghetti noodles

1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 ml) olive oil

Salt

VEGGIES

1 tbsp (14 g) coconut oil

1 medium-sized onion, diced

4 cups (280 g) sliced cremini mushrooms

2 cups (134 g) sliced shiitake mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce

Big pinch of red pepper flakes

3 to 4 handfuls of spinach or chopped kale

GARNISHES

Fresh lemon juice

Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Vegan panko bread crumbs (optional)

Nutritional yeast or store-bought vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)

Make the sauce: Drain and rinse the cashews, then place in a high-speed blender. Add the fresh water, garlic clove, tamari, vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and black pepper and blend on high speed until smooth. Taste and see if you want to add any more of the seasonings. Set aside.

Make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain the noodles, reserving ⅓ cup (80 ml) of the starchy cooking water. In a large bowl, combine the noodles and reserved starchy water with the olive oil and salt to taste. Toss the noodles so they do not stick together. Set aside.

Make the veggies: Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook down for 5 to 6 minutes. Once their liquid has released, add the minced garlic, garlic powder, tamari and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat to low, toss in the spinach and cook, stirring, to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the sauce to the bowl of noodles and mix well to evenly coat. Divide the noodles equally among 4 serving bowls, then divide the mushroom mixture among the bowls. Add a squeeze of lemon juice plus red pepper flakes, panko and/or nutritional yeast (if using). Serve immediately.

Note: If you do not have a high-speed blender, soak your cashews for an hour or overnight, to protect your blender.

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