This oil-free Vegan Creamy Spinach Pasta is brimming with comforting flavors, healthy ingredients, and ready in 20 minutes.
- 1 cup yellow onions, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon GF flour *
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted almond butter
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- ½ cup water *
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
- 1 Tablespoon white miso *
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard *
- 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves *
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Pinch of crushed rosemary
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 10 oz. GF pasta, cooked (or pasta of choice) *
- 3 cups baby spinach
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Boil the pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water to remove excess starches. Set aside. Note: Right before draining the pasta, pull off one cup of hot pasta water, reserve, set aside to use later.
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven/pot or similarly large stockpot/skillet, add the finely diced onion, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 8 minutes until the onions are tender. (If needed to prevent sticking, add a splash of vegetable broth or water).
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the almond butter and stir for one minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed onions, garlic and almond butter, then sauté the flour for one minute. It will look like flour covered lumps, that is OK. You want to cook the flour.
- Add the vegetable broth and water, heat to boiling, then immediately lower to a simmer. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or stiff plastic spatula to pull up anything that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Then add the Spice/Herb Mix, and all the remaining Base Ingredients. Stir constantly until the mixture comes together nicely and the sauce is thick.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and baby spinach, heat through until the spinach starts to wilt. If the sauce is too thick, add approximately ½ to 2/3 cup of hot pasta water to thin out the sauce. Serve with freshly chopped parsley and Vegan Parmesan.
Tips for Success:
- Sauce: When cooking the almond butter and flour, it will lump up and some will stick to the bottom of the skillet/pan. Use a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula to scrape it off the bottom of the skillet. There is a lot of flavor that can get stuck to the bottom of the skillet, you want to make sure you pull it up and mix it into the sauce.
- Hot Pasta Water: When the pasta is done boiling, pull off about one cup of hot pasta water and set it aside. You may need this extra water to help thin out the sauce (at the end) if it becomes too thick. We used about 2/3 cup of hot pasta water to thin out the sauce. Hot pasta water is excellent for thinning out thick sauces. You may not wish to use any or you could end up using the entire cup of hot pasta water.
- Amount of Pasta: While it is very tempting to use more pasta then the 10 oz.; it is important to understand that the more pasta you use, the less sauce will be available for this dish and it will become dry. We found that 10 oz. is the perfect pasta to sauce ratio for this dish.
*Pasta of choice: You can use your favorite pasta in this dish. We used Dellalo Gluten Free Brown Rice Ziti.
*Dijon Mustard: We used Koob’s Dijon Mustard. As you probably know, Dijon mustards vary greatly in flavor and strength. Feel free to use your favorite Dijon mustard. Taste test the sauce, if you want more tang, feel free to add more Dijon mustard.
*Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
*Dried Crushed Thyme Leaves: We use Penzeys French Thyme. Dried and crushed thyme leaves are not the same as ground thyme. Ground thyme has a powdery consistency. Whereas dried and crushed thyme leaves have texture. You can use either in this recipe. We used dried and crushed thyme leaves, so if you are using ground thyme, scale back to half of the amount indicated in the recipe and check for flavor consistency.
*Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 3 Servings
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.