Vegan Mushroom "Carbonara"
Not going to lie, you have to like mushrooms to like this one! If you don't like mushrooms but still want an amazing dairy-free creamy "alfredo-like" pasta just leave them out or sub for finely minced sundried tomatoes for that "chewy" type texture. Be careful though because sundried tomatoes can be super salty. Taste first, don't add salt or the tamari, and don't use too much!
1/2 454g package pasta of choice (I used gluten free brown rice spaghetti)
3/4 cup cashews, soaked for 20 mins or up to overnight
4 tbsp olive oil, divided + more for drizzling
2 cups of mushrooms, finely chopped, I like shiitake or maitake but any will do
2 shallots, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp nutritional yeast, divided
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chili flakes, optional
Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, in boiling salted water. Drain, set aside, and reserve 1.5 cups of pasta water.
Make your cashew cream by blending your toasted cashews with 1 cup of pasta water, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast. Set aside.
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add minced shallots and saute until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms and cook undisturbed until some browning and crisping starts to happen about 3-4 minutes. Then, stir occasionally, until all sides are browned and crisped. Add tamari, smoked paprika, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
In the same large pot, you cooked your pasta in earlier add your noodles, cashew cream, and mushroom shallot mixture. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring well to coat all the noodles and heat everything thoroughly, about 3 minutes. Add the other 1/2 cup of your reserved pasta cooking liquid to make your sauce a little more loose if needed. Add in all the lemon zest and half of the lemon juice and minced parsley and toss once more.
Divide pasta among bowls or plates and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper, more parsley, nutritional yeast, and a drizzle of olive oil, more lemon juice, and chili flakes, if desired.
This is best eaten hot and fresh but can be reheated. I suggest heating it in a frying pan with a little water to loosen it up to become creamy again.
You can definitely add some protein to this such as chicken or even bacon, bonus that it's still dairy free!