I think we’ve got a bit lazy when it comes to pasta. Not that there’s anything wrong with lazy – I love lazy, I just don’t like dull, or sad. Frankly pasta with some tomato sauce from a jar is dull and sad. It’s SO simple and quick and so much more delicious to think outside the box, or jar, when it comes to a speedy weeknight supper. This Heavenly “Creamy” Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Garlic ticks all the boxes, it’s beyond delicious and you can make the sauce while the water is coming to a boil for the pasta.
Where does the “Cream” come from?
Although this post is titled “Creamy” Spaghetti there is of course not a drop of cream in it. Here’s a fabulous thing I discovered recently, if you’re attempting to whisk up a creamy vegan sauce reach no further than your jar of Vegenaise. A tablespoon of Vegenaise swirled into some veggie broth and white wine prompts a culinary alchemy transforming a thin, rather insipid liquid into a rich, decadent, flavorful sauce, so easy and yes in fact quite lazy:)
What’s up with the Mushrooms:
Mushrooms tend to belong in the “love them or hate them” category. Personally I love them but if you’re not quite convinced give them another go, cooked well they’re divine, not to mention they’re incredibly good for you. Full of immune boosting and anti inflammatory powers, mushrooms contain over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Sauteed in olive oil with a pinch of red pepper flakes, plenty of garlic, white wine and fresh herbs you just can’t go wrong. Any type of mushroom will work with this recipe, I used a mix of cremini (which incidentally are juvenile portabella mushrooms) and the regular old white button.
What about the Pasta?
I used spaghetti because that’s what I had in the cupboard. Any type would do, but perhaps orecchiette, fusilli or cellentani would be good options as the sauce would nestle nicely in their curves.
“Creamy” Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Garlic
1 packet of pasta of choice – COOK ACCORDING TO THE PACKAGE DIRECTIONS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2, 8oz packs fresh mushrooms SLICED (remove the stems and reserve for veggie stock and wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Vegenaise
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I used Earth’s Balance)
Grating of Vegan Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a LARGE pan (you need plenty of room because mushrooms don’t like being squished together, they end up steaming and not browning which you don’t want!). Add the pepper flakes and let the oil get hot.
Add the mushrooms and saute until they start to brown. Don’t add the salt until the mushrooms have browned. Adding the salt early releases the juices from the mushrooms and then they will steam in their juices – again, not what we’re after.
Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the parsley and cook for a minute more, don’t let the garlic burn.
Add the salt, pepper, white wine, stock and tomato paste, combine well and let bubble away for a minute or two then remove from the heat and gently swirl in the Vegenaise.
Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, add the vegan butter and cheese, toss gently and serve garnished with the remaining fresh parsley.