Creamy fettuccine with caramelised mushrooms and baby spinach
( SERVES 4 )
This pasta in a creamy and tasty sauce leaves you feeling good becuase it uses cashews rather than rich cream. Use raw nuts rather than roasted. In this dish we want them more for their creaminess than flavour. Savoury/nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in the plant-based world. It has a cheesy, savoury flavour. You can usually find it in the health section of the supermarket or near the spices in vegetable stores. A key point in this dish is to get the mushrooms nicely caramelised. Use a very hot pan so the moisture evaporates away rather than stewing. Toss the spinach in right at the end to keep it bright green and vital. The sauce can also be used on cauliflower, for mac 'n cheese etc and it makes amazing leftovers.
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|2 medium||Onions, finely chopped|
|6||Garlic cloves, crushed|
|1 cup||Water, or vegetable stock|
|1 cup||Raw cashew nuts|
|3 Tbsp||Nutritional yeast, also called savoury yeast|
|½ tsp||Black pepper|
|2 Tbsp||Lemon juice|
|1 tsp||Dijon mustard|
|1½ cups||Water, or vegetable stock|
|500 g||Fettuccine, or spaghetti|
|500 g||Button mushrooms, thickly sliced|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|2 handfuls||Baby spinach, or chopped spinach|
|1 handful||Basil leaves, to serve|
- For the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan then add the onions and garlic. Turn down the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes to soften. Add the water or stock, turn up the heat and cook until all liquid is absorbed.
- Add the cashews, savoury yeast flakes, pepper, salt, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and water or vegetable stock to a high speed blender and whizz until super smooth (at least 1 full minute).
- Cook the pasta in at least 5 litres of salted rapidly boiling water until done to your liking, then drain and add a splash of olive oil to keep it from clumping.
- Fry the mushrooms in a hot pan with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt until nicely browned for flavour. Add spinach and toss for a few seconds to start it softening then turn heat down low and add the blended sauce. Cook the sauce until heated through, adding a little water if it seems too thick.
- Serve pasta in a bowl with a generous spoon of sauce, some chopped basil, a sprinkle of cracked black pepper and drizzle of olive oil.