Vegan Creamed Mushroom Pasta

I love kitchens since I’m a kid. Loved to sit next to my grandmas when they were in the kitchen, have a look and taste whatever is in the process. I started cooking for real while being a teenager. My mom was working full time and I had to prepare my own lunch, which I liked being creative with, experimenting with new ingredients and spices.

And I always had a weakness for cream-based pasta sauces. Maybe because I didn’t had them in my healthy-eating home. So in the rare occasions I had the chance, I began to master the craft of this sauce. Around the age of 16, I was at a friend’s place, and her mom allowed me to prepare lunch. I remember this day until now as one of the best compliments I got for my cooking – while the mom referred to the sauce as ‘half-orgasm’.

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So how to prepare half-orgasm sauce and keep it vegan? Well, not that complicated, as long as you keep accurate.

I calculate the amounts in this recipe for two servings. You will need 250 g pasta of your liking. But make sure you have a kind of pasta that will allow some of the thick sauce sink and accumulate. Strozzapreti, gramigna or fusilli will be the best ones to choose.

Boil the pasta in salt water, but don’t let it get too soft. You will cook it for 30 seconds more in the sauce, so have that it mind.

Finely chop 1 medium onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic and around 7-8 sage leaves. Heat a heavy pot or a deep, heavy frying pan over a medium flame, and saute all the stuff you chopped in mild olive oil or vegetable oil, until the onion and garlic turn transparent, don’t let it get too golden, this is not what we’re looking for here. Season while sauteing with coarsely ground black pepper. When it’s ready, add 1/3 cup of dry white wine, increase the heat and let it simmer. An emulsion between the seasoned oil and the wine will emerge.

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Then, add large chunks of mushrooms. The more, the merrier. Button mushrooms are the usual suspect, but purchini, portobello, and your local, seasonal forest mushrooms will give the sauce a wonderful wild aroma. Here in Germany, the season for wild mushrooms is from the end of summer to the autumn. Then you can get them all fresh and not too pricy. When you’re out of season, you can get them frozen, and that will work as well. Once the mushrooms are in, they will release their flavor to the wine-oil emulsion.

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When the mushrooms are soft, add 125 ml soy cooking cream. Alpro gives a good result. Reduce to medium heat again, season with 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to taste. Once the sauce is thick enough, add the sieved, cooked pasta, and stir well over the flame, until the sauce sticks well. Around 20-30 seconds. Take of the flame and eat right away.

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