Creamy Spring Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms and Peas

May 12, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathleen Maheu
    Kathleen Maheu
  • lillianstrange
  • Cheryl
  • Doug
  • Paula Zevin
    Paula Zevin

15 Reviews

Kathleen M. June 12, 2020
Really enjoyed this. Great substitute for Alfredo.
lillianstrange November 29, 2018
I just made this. I haven't had alfredo in a long time and I must say this was the best!
Anita W. August 22, 2018
I enjoyed this recipe so much, will definitely cook this one again.
Cheryl July 19, 2017
This was pretty good. Would only use 6 oz of pasta next time and more mushrooms. Best when served immediately as the sauce got absorbed rapidly.
Brookland J. May 10, 2015
This was amazing! No one even knew it wasn't real Alfredo! Excellent recipe!
cpc April 9, 2015
I hate the flavour of tofu so was skeptical about this recipe but had to make something for a sick friend's family who are vegetarian. I followed the recipe exactly and was surprised at how good it was. The smell and flavour of the nutritional yeast were a bit strong so I'd probably cut that back to two tablespoons next time. I'm not sure that chives were the best garnish. I think a number of fresh herbs would work well with this recipe, basil, mint, tarragon...

I will definitely make this again. My family of carnivores was quite surprised to learn that this was a vegan recipe and happily ate it all.
Doug March 11, 2015
Tasty recipe, Gena--I substituted leeks for the shallots (which weren't
available) and that lent a bit of a strong flavor, but all was delicious
even so. Who needs dairy? (or meat): this sauce is excellent,
and healthy.
Jeannette January 26, 2015
I just made this recipe....pretty good. It it is easy and quick.
I am a very new to cooking but love great food...
I had never had tofu or nutritional yeast.
I love meat but in an effort to cut down on meat and feed my little girls healthy pasta options I decided to try this.
I taste good, although I miss the filling effect of meat. I kept thinking how much better it be if it had some pancetta or chicken.
The yeast is kind of smelly that would be my only complaint

Debbie May 27, 2014
I didn't use the soy stuff, I used cashew cream. This was awesome!!! So yummy. I'm going to put it on just veggies next time to cut out pasta. I'm thinking mushroom, broccoli, and asparagus.
Angela May 19, 2014
this was so good! leftovers going in everyone's lunch boxes for tomorrow. thanks! :)
Ceege May 18, 2014

You can get nutritional yeast at any "health food store".
Paula Z. May 18, 2014
Thank you for a delicious recipe which does not use cashew cream or nut butters! Silken tofu is so versatile.
Erin May 15, 2014
Oh, thank you. I had no idea. I am also hoping I can find it. Does it actually say "nutritional yeast" and is it at whole foods?
Andrea May 15, 2014
It is different from regular yeast. It looks like wheat bran (in terms of texture) and adds protein to your dish. It's not got a lot of taste, maybe just a little nutty, so it won't influence your final product. It's a good thing!
Erin May 15, 2014
what is "nutritional yeast," something other than regular yeast?