This is the pasta of all vegan pastas.
It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s satisfying and it’s layered with so much meaty umami flavor that you’ll swear this pasta is secretly loaded with butter and cream.
Did you see my post earlier this week where I talked about the secret behind delicious plant-based food? If not, I went in-depth on the science behind umami and why it’s often the missing link between good vegan food and great vegan food.
I’ve shared a lot of pasta recipes over the years, but this vegan mushroom version might take the cake. If you like fettuccini alfredo, then this pasta is for you.
The sauce starts with a base of caramelized onions and mushrooms. These can take up to 45 minutes, so don’t rush them. Turn the heat on low and let the vegetables do their thing. Onions can go from browned to burnt fairly quickly so check on them every few minutes and don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too much.
In addition to fresh mushrooms, we are adding in dried mushrooms to this sauce. Why? Because dried mushrooms contain much more umami than fresh ones! Again, this pasta is all about layering savory flavors and the dried mushrooms are key.
I chose dried porcini mushrooms over morels because they tend to be less expensive, so feel free to do one or the other or a mix of wild mushrooms. Soak them in hot water until soft, then remove the stems, chop and add to the mushroom mixture.
Then we make the cream sauce. A blend of cashews, nutritional yeast (more umami!)
and salt. Blend until super smooth, then add to the sauce. I’m also calling for a splash of balsamic vinegar to cut through the richness of the sauce.
See how silky that sauce is? I love how it clings to the fettuccini noodles so perfectly. This really is one of my favorite vegan pasta dishes. I can’t wait for you to try this one! Make it, then come back and tell me what you think. Can you tell the umami difference?
Vegan Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo! This vegan Alfredo is SO amazing and layered with umami. If you are looking for the best vegan pasta, this is it. A must-try for anyone– vegan or not!
- 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (morels, porcini or a mix of both)
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup cashews, preferably soaked for ~4 hours (see notes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 12 ounces dried fettuccini
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot/boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes while preparing the onions.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil and the thinly sliced onions, salt and sugar and cook until very brown and caramelized, about 45 minutes. You’ll want to stir the onions fairly often so they don’t burn or stick.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms and thinly slice, then add to the saucepan (along with a little more oil, if needed) and stir together. Drain the dried mushrooms (save the liquid) and finely chop, then add to the skillet. Stir, cooking often, until the mushrooms are reduced and browned. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season to taste, adding more salt if needed. If the mushrooms start to stick, add a little of the reserved soaking liquid, then stir.
- While the mushrooms/onions are cooking, place the cashews in the base of a blender with the water, a pinch of salt and the nutritional yeast. Puree until very creamy and smooth. Depending on the power of your blender, this may take a few minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add in the fettuccini and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
- Add the cream to the skillet and reduce heat to low, then stir together. Add in the cooked fettuccini and toss together, adding reserved pasta water as needed to help the sauce cling to the noodles. Season to taste as needed, adding more salt and freshly cracked pepper as desired. Serve! This one is so good!
- Cashews blend better when soaked. However, if you don’t have time or forget, then I recommend pouring boiling/hot water over the cashews and let soak for 10 minutes, then drain.
Keywords: italian, pasta, vegan, dinner, main dish