Yep, you read the title right, vegan alfredo mushroom pasta. Sometimes pasta is the only way to go. It’s creamy, cheesy, earthy and incredibly indulgent. This recipe is also super easy to customize. So you’ve got some leftover broccoli in the fridge? Use it. All you have is linguine instead of penne you say, go for it.
What really makes this recipe, is our flavorful vegan alfredo sauce and the seared mushrooms. Recipes are meant to be fun. So feel free to experiment with your culinary instincts, or just go for our delicious recipe as it is.
You’ll love this recipe
Comfort food heaven anyone?
Sacred Italian pasta, or American spin off?
We came up with this recipe because simply enough, Luna had a craving for a white sauce pasta. Not surprisingly, according to our research, one particular stomach with a craving for plain pasta is what led to the creation of fettuccine alfredo as we (Americans) know it.
In 1914, Alfredo di Leli owned a restaurant in Rome called Via della Scrofa. At the time his wife was pregnant and suffering from intense nausea. Unable to keep her food down, Alfredo would make her a plain white pasta. He used any type of pasta with a butter and parmigiano-reggiano sauce. His wife ate the dish regularly, and eventually Alfredo placed the sauce on the menu. It came with the special house made pasta of the day.
The story continues, that 2 American Hollywood stars came to his restaurant and ordered the pasta of the day. Which was fettuccine pasta, with the butter parmigiano sauce. They loved it so much they asked for the recipe and took it home with them to the states. Eventually other American celebrities came to visit Via della Scrofa. Everyone wanted to try Alfredo’s fettuccine, and the restaurant became a hit tourist destination.
Although this dish is basically considered butter and noodles by italian standards, in the United States, the dish gained popularity. In Italy, to order fettuccine alfredo, you would have to ask for fettuccine al burro. This means pasta in bianco, or fettuccine burro e parmigiano. If you order “fettuccine Alfredo” in Italy, no one will know what youre talking about. But for Americans Fettuccine Alfredo stuck.
In terms of the americanized recipe, It is not uncommon to find alfredo sauce containing heavy cream, butter and parmigiano. In Italy the sauce is exquisitely butter and parmigiano.
Why the difference?
Well the quality of butter and cheese in Italy is simply better. The cheese and butter are already so thick and creamy there is no need for heavy cream.
Even though this story is not about a plant based dish it is always interesting to learn about the origins of food.
Our recipe is 100% free of butter, heavy cream and parmigiano. This is exactly why, especially through a culinary lense, vegan food is so interesting.
How to sauce, vegan style
To make a successful vegan copycat recipe, our most precious ingredient to work with will be cashews. Cashews are an amazing and slightly underrated nut. At least underrated by the majority of folks. Typically, when making a vegan recipe that has a cheesy, creamy component, cashews are the perfect go-to. You can use them to make anything from creamy sauces, to milkshakes, and raw vegan desserts. Cashews can even be made into vegan butter and cheese. Incredible right?? For one nut to be so versatile.
Once soaked, soft and tender, the cashews are blended with the other ingredients to make a stick to your noodles, not running away on your plate pasta sauce. It is quick and easy to make, and packed with healthy nutrients as with most of our recipes!
Cashews are also a good source of magnesium, which is vital for the healthy development of bones, muscles, tissues, and the body’s organs. Magnesium helps maintain blood pressure, boost immunity, maintain nerve function, and keep the bones strong.
Cashew based Alfredo Sauce
It was a bit of a challenge to find the right components to mimic this iconic pasta dish. Usually the Americanized alfredo sauce simmers heavy cream with the parmigiano to achieve the desired consistency.
Although we knew cashews would be the perfect texture supplement, what about the flavor?
For this recipe, in addition to cashews we use salt, black pepper, unsweetened soy milk, turmeric, and lemon juice.
All these ingredients together, create a fantastic vegan alfredo sauce. Honestly, salt and pepper are no brainers. The soy milk helps everything blend smoothly. It is important to note, purchase unsweetened non-vanilla plant milk. We did accidentally buy unsweetened vanilla soy milk the first time we tested this recipe. To say the least it was an interesting experience, imagine alfredo sauce with hints of vanilla… not the best flavor combo!
The turmeric is not completely necessary, but we like to play with our food if you haven’t noticed. Luna is always trying to add extra nutrients here and there whenever possible.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is known to help reduce bodily inflammation. Not only is turmeric a superfood but also add a nice light yellow hue to the sauce. The amount used in this recipe is light allowing the color to present itself prominently without affecting the flavor.
The lemon juice mimics the light twang cheese has. It also acts as the acid component in the dish balancing the fattiness of the cashews.
In the original dish there were no mushrooms, but there also weren’t any cashews or turmeric. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to upgrade this dish. Makes me almost want to call it “Oh-yes-extra-mushrooms-please-dairy-free-alfredo-pasta.” Not to mention this newer rendition is much friendlier to your health and the environment.
When properly cooked, mushrooms are some of the most satisfying flavors and textures to incorporate into a plant based diet. Mushrooms are the closest in terms of texture and flavor to meat. The trick to really getting the most out of your mushrooms, is by searing them correctly.
Lastly, let’s talk about cooking pasta. It sounds quite simple….. and it is! There are just a couple of pro tips we have to ensure perfectly cooked pasta.
The pasta water should be salty like the sea. This seasons the pasta from the inside out.
Make sure the water is boiling rapidly before adding pasta. It’s important that the temperature doesn’t drop once the pasta is added.
Save a bit of pasta water. Always make sure when cooking pasta dishes to reserve a bit of the pasta cooking water.
Mix the reserved starchy water with the sauce. This will allow the alfredo sauce to stick to all that pasta and mushrooms.
Adding starchy water will also help with consistency of the sauce so it’s not too thick.
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Luna & Nate
6 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories469
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 33g 51%
- Saturated Fat 6.3g 32%
- Sodium 358mg 15%
- Total Carbohydrate 38g 13%
- Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
- Sugars 8g
- Protein 11g 22%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.