Here’s a hearty pasta dish featuring a healthier, nondairy version of cream-filled Alfredo sauce. This dish also has some serious plant-based “beefiness” courtesy of seitan. Serve with plenty of green vegetables (like broccoli, greens, or green beans) and a simple salad for an any-night-of-the-week meal, or even as a company dish. Recipe adapted from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas (©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission). Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
- 10 to 12 ounces pasta (see note)
- 1 cup green peas, optional 1½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12.3-ounce container firm silken tofu
- ½ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg liquid amino
- 12 to 16 ounces seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 to 1½ pounds fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (see note)
- Minced fresh parsley for topping, as desired
- Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large cooking pot. If you’d like to use the peas, plunge them into the water with the pasta just as it’s turning al dente, simmer for another minute or so, then drain. Transfer back to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat about half of the olive oil or broth in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté over low heat until both are golden and soft.
- Combine the sautéed onion and garlic with the tofu and nondairy milk in a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into the pot with the cooked pasta and stir together. Season with salt and pepper and cover.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet along with the soy sauce. Add the seitan and sauté over medium-high heat until touched with browned spots here and there, about 8 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms to the skillet and continue to cook until they’re wilted and done to your taste.
- Serve at once, arranging a portion the hot cooked noodles on each plate and topping with some of the seitan and mushroom mixture. Top each serving with a little parsley.
This works well with the traditional fettuccine, and is also nice with pappardelle, whole wheat pastas, and ribbon pasta, such as spelt.
Try a combination of a couple of medium-sized portobella caps, thinly sliced, with some baby bella (aka cremini). A small amount of shiitake mushrooms added to the mix is nice, too.