Creamy Spring Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms and Peas

By • May 12, 2014 11 Comments

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Author Notes: This vegan pasta dish is so creamy that your guests will never guess it's dairy free. Delicate peas and hearty shiitake mushrooms provide plenty of contrast in taste and texture. Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, divided and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 4-6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces farfalle, orecchiette, or linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium flame. Add two of the chopped shallots. Cook until they're fragrant and soft (about 3). Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  2. Transfer the shallot, garlic, and oil mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste. Blend the ingredients thoroughly, adding a little water as you go. You want a sauce that has a thick, rich, creamy texture--just like regular alfredo sauce. A quarter cup of water should be about right. When the sauce has your desired consistency, set it aside.
  3. Place one pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta and another small pot to boil for the peas. In the meantime, add the final chopped shallot back to your skillet (there should be enough oil left in it for sauteing) and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Add the shiitake mushrooms, season them with sea salt and pepper to taste, and saute until they're totally soft and cooked through.
  4. When the water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to directions. Add the peas to the small pot of boiling water and cook for a few minutes, or until they're tender and bright.
  5. When pasta is ready, transfer it to a serving bowl. Add the peas and shiitake mushrooms and combine them thoroughly. Top the pasta with about a half cup of the alfredo sauce, adding more as needed, until it's quite creamy but not drowning. Divide the pasta into bowls and sprinkle with fresh chives. Serve.

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