Working at a food publication changes the way you read cookbooks. Which is to say, you don’t so much read them as you chat with them via sticky notes that say things like, “Ooh! November?”
I blew through a lot of Post-its reading I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I flagged the tempeh beet reuben and fennel-seed sausage (a total dream on polenta, as I soon discovered). I also flagged the pasta chapter. Like, the entire pasta chapter.
Below are three of the recipes—penne vodka, ’shroom and white bean scampi, and chickpea alfredo—plus 14 other just-happen-to-be vegan pastas from our community that are always on my wishlist for dinner.
1. Penne Vodka
I will give a million dollars to whoever takes a bite of this, then cries out, “Aha! This isn’t cream, it’s cashew cream!” As Moscowitz notes in the cookbook, the two are utterly “indistinguishable.”
All the goodness of shrimp scampi (white wine, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes), just without the shrimp (who needs it, anyway?). Instead, you have chewy oyster mushrooms and plump white beans.
This fettuccine is ultra-creamy thanks to a few ingredients, none of which are cream or cheese. Enter: almonds, white miso, nutritional yeast, and chickpeas.
Spaghetti aglio e olio (aka garlic and oil) is a classic Italian pasta that just happens to be vegan. This version ditches the garlic—I know, I know—and swaps in scallions. Lots of scallions.
Springy instant ramen noodles take a break from soup broth and turn to a Sriracha-honey peanut sauce instead. Tempeh skeptics, you’re welcome.
This Genius recipe comes by way of Andrea Nguyen’s The Pho Cookbook. All the comfort of chicken soup (with none of the chicken). Nutritional yeast adds tons of meaty roundless to the broth.
Odds are, most of this ingredient list is already in your kitchen: pasta, chickpeas, tomato paste, pepper flakes, garlic, olive oil, and, uh, water. Red wine alongside highly encouraged.
Instead of cream, this creamy pasta bake turns to cauliflower. Some florets get pureed into a rich sauce, while the rest get to hang out with the noodles.
When the author of our vegan cookbook, Gena Hamshaw, says this is her favorite vegan mac and cheese, you listen up. A combo of white beans and soaked cashews serve as the base for the cheesy sauce.
The winner of our lettuce-free salad recipe contest uses soba noodles instead of leafy greenery—a swap we’re very, very into. If you can’t find king oyster mushrooms, feel free to swap in portobellos, shiitakes, or creminis (not as scallop-esque, but still delicious).
Many of the ingredients here mimic a classic bolognese: onion, carrots, celery, red wine, tomatoes, and herbs. But instead of beef, we’re using equally meaty mushrooms and lentils. Now pass the cash Parm.
Consider this your ticket to falling in love with romanesco, the most dramatic brassica in town. (Pro tip: This combo of capers, chiles, and golden raisins is great with broccoli and cauliflower, too.)
This simple pasta leans hard on eggplant’s buttery, meaty personality—and gets a kick of spice from red pepper flakes. Feel free to swap in anything else spicy that you love, like chile crisp or Calabrian chile paste.
14. Tahini Noodles
This tahini sauce (soy sauce, ginger, garlic, Sriracha) gets along with all sorts of vegetables, from green beans and carrots to sweet potato and avocado. Some crispy tofu would be great, too.
This pesto batch is bigger than you’ll need for dinner tonight—and that’s a good thing. It freezes well and is wonderful on all sorts of noodles beyond soba.
16. Sesame Noodles
The secret ingredient in these Genius sesame noodles? Water. Don’t hold back with the crunchy-fresh toppings—think: bell pepper, sugar snap peas, carrots, and onion.
Boiled-then-blitzed asparagus turns into a delightfully creamy pasta sauce, while extra asparagus spears and chopped walnuts add crunchy-munchy texture.
The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).Order now