While I was at the grocery store yesterday, someone mentioned they wanted pasta, and I came to the conclusion that I, too, wanted pasta. I felt like a mushroomy, creamy, sauce was just what I was in the mood for, so I stocked up on crimini mushrooms and headed home.
Mushrooms are one of my favorite things to base dishes around, since I have found them to be very versatile, as well as totally delicious. Before I stopped paying for cable, I used to watch a lot of Food Network TV shows. A lot. I actually attribute this to my ability to cook, since I really never did it beforehand. Alton Brown’s show, Good Eats, was always a favorite, and one year I remember him making my favorite holiday dish from scratch – green bean casserole. Since then, I have always made it with fresh ingredients, and it’s been super simple to adapt to my veganism. I’ve made the mushroom cream sauce and mixed it with pasta before, but I recently decided to play around with it and try to get the flavor of an alfredo sauce with the mushrooms in it. I feel like I nailed it, and was in the mood for this delicious sauce again last night.
Something about pasta with a cream sauce was just begging for greenery, however, so I added about half a bunch of lacitano kale. Really the only reason I used this kind of kale was because it’s so much easier to cut up into strips than curly varieties of kale, and I was going for that abundance of kale that only thinly shredded bits would be able to give me. Served with a side salad, this was a delicious, hearty, and vitamin filled vegan meal worthy of writing about.
Without further ado, here is the recipe for my Penne Alfredo with Kale and Mushrooms.
- 1 serving of the vegan alfredo sauce (recipe here)
- 1 serving penne (or other pasta of your choice, but the sauce will stick really well to penne)
- about 150g, or 1-1.5 cups, sliced mushrooms (I used crimini, but you could cut up portobello mushrooms or use white button. Nothing with too strong of a flavor, though)
- 1/2 of one large bunch of kale (I used lacitano, but any kind will work, and you can also adjust the amounts for your taste)
- oil to saute the mushrooms and kale in
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- optional: some kind of vegan protein source (I used smokey tempeh strips, because I thought the smokey flavor would lend well to the sauce)
Directions (makes one serving):
- Cook your pasta according to the package.
- Follow the directions included for the vegan alfredo to make the sauce, but add the dried rosemary as well. It works beautifully with the mushrooms and kale, and although optional, it shouldn’t be!
- In a large saute pan, cook your mushrooms until they’re browned and have expelled liquid. Add the kale on top and cover, allowing it to steam for a while. ***If using a protein, cook during this time.
- When the pasta, sauce, and vegetables are done, test for seasoning and combine ingredients.