By now you must have noticed that we’re having a slight obsession with delicious fungi’s. The only thing missing from our repertoire of mushroom posts is a little mushroom foraging, which will hopefully happen soon. But for now, we’ll just enjoy them in their abundance at the markets and maybe one day we’ll have the know-how to hunt in the forests for our own produce.
This recipe is definitely not for those who are indifferent to mushrooms and their strong flavours. In this recipe, we celebrate all the fantastic flavours that every type of mushroom provides. From the earthy flavours of shiitake mushrooms to the subtle nutty flavours of the shimijei mushroom, they all play together to create a wonderful creamy sauce that will never let you underestimate their flavours again.
Pasta has always been my weakness when it comes to healthy eating, especially cream based sauces that have all the butter in the world, but this recipe has changed everything. This mushroom alfredo is completely vegan, contains no butter or dairy and yet rivals any cream based sauce I’ve ever tasted. When you come across vegan food that completely shifts your thinking on creaminess it’s something that must be shouted from the rooftops. We paired this recipe with 2 types of nuts, cashew nuts – these go into the sauce, and pine nuts – which get scattered over your ready to eat bowl of pasta. Each of these nuts plays a different role in supporting the flavours and texture of the pasta. The cashews thicken the sauce and create a smooth and creamy texture while topping your bowl with some fresh pine nuts (which are already incredibly creamy) adds a luxurious crunch at the end. Nutritionists have always favoured pine nuts due to their high mineral and vitamin content, which helps alkalize your body and ward off any illness and diseases.
This time around we chose to swap out or gluten-free pasta for a combination of zucchini and cauliflower noodles. We love both and couldn’t decide, so didn’t and added both. This increases the number of veggies in your dish and makes for a lighter meal, especially if you know you’re going to overindulge and want to try and keep things on the lighter side. Unfortunately, we don’t have a spiralizer but did a little research for you on why it’s become such a trend, and if it is actually worth investing in one.
- It’s an excellent way to increase the number of vegetables you’re consuming on a daily basis, remember we’re trying to aim for more than 5 a day.
- Less wastage; you’re using most if not all the vegetable, sometimes even including the skin which can contain most of the nutrients and which you would often throw away.
- And my favourite reason – Dual detoxification, because you’re increasing the number of vegetables in your diet, you’re increasing your daily fibre intake, which is what keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which in turn decreases the amount of processed and refined foods you’re consuming. Most vegetables also have a higher water content which helps your body with tissue detoxification and flushes out any unnecessary toxins.
Mentioning all of this, I’m not quite sure why we don’t own one just yet. It makes life incredibly easy and saves you cooking time while keeping you healthy. The combination of fresh spiralized zucchini and cauliflower paired with the creamiest mushroom sauce has me feeling all kinds of happy.
I always veered away from zucchini noodles, because I overcooked them and they’d become soggy and turn into a pile of mush. The secret here is to simply warm them up. If you’re buying packet zucchini/cauliflower noodles, please ignore the instructions if they advise you to add a little water, its definitely not necessary, quick frying is the way to go! With strong flavours and subtle nutty hues, combined with crispy and crunchy this special alfredo pasta is meant to be enjoyed and shared with everyone.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1 Onion roughly chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves chopped
- 2 cups Exotic Mushrooms (shiitake, shimeji,portobello) chopped
- 3/4 cups Almond Milk unsweetened
- 4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/4 cup Raw Cashews
- 250 grams Zucchini Noodles
- 250 gram Cauliflower Noodles
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place a pan over medium-high heat and add a tbsp olive oil to the pan to brown your onions. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until translucent and slightly golden.
Add the garlic and fry for a further 1 minute.
Place your roughly chopped mushrooms to the pan and fry for a further 3 minutes until golden brown on the edges, remove from heat and let cool.
Add your fried onion and mushroom mix to a blender along with your almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. You could also use an immersion blender but the end result won't be as smooth. Set aside.
Place the frying pan back over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot add your red onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fry for 3 minutes, shifting them to create an even colouring on the mushrooms. Transfer to your prepared baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes.
Using the same frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and place over medium-high heat. add your zucchini and cauliflower noodles and toss using tongs for 2-3 minutes. You just want to heat them, not cook them further. The longer you keep them on the heat the softer/mushier they'll become.
Pour your creamy mushroom sauce over your noodles and using your tongs, mix the sauce through.
Spoon your pasta into your pasta bowls, remove the mushrooms from the oven and sprinkle over your pasta bowls. Top with pine nuts and chopped parsley. Enjoy!