Mushroom Pasta

Mushrooms are not my favourite vegetable. I tolerate them, but they’re never my first choice to add to a recipe.

Then I saw this article that touts mushrooms as nutritional powerhouses that, among other things, help fight diseases like cancer, boost the immune system and lower cholesterol. If that’s not enough, their antioxidants don’t change with the addition of heat (which is nice, since I would never eat raw mushrooms). So I figured I should make an attempt to like them more.

This recipe hails from The Vegetarian Bible, which had a section devoted to mushrooms and the onion family. I made several changes to vegan-ize and gluten-ize it, plus I subbed veggie stock in place of port, which I don’t drink. Overall though, I think I still stayed true to the intent of the recipe.

I was surprised at how much I liked this. The sauce had a slightly salty, gravy-like consistency and the mushrooms I bought at the farmer’s market were mild and flavourful. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this again – and soon.

Mushroom Pasta
Adapted from The Vegetarian Bible

2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 large mushrooms, chopped (use your favourite kind, and add more or less if you want)
1 tbsp tapioca flour
¾ cup soy milk
2 tbsp vegetable stock (or port, if you’d like)
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 cup dried brown rice penne
A large handful of chopped spinach (optional)

Heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook over low heat for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.

Gradually stir in the soy milk and veggie stock, then add the nutmeg and cook over low heat until the sauce has thickened to your liking.

Meanwhile, bring a large of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the penne and remaining olive oil and cook until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the spaghetti and then return it to the pot.

Throw the handful of spinach, if using, into the mushroom sauce and let it wilt. Pour over the pasta, mix and serve.

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