Cozy and so delicious, this Vegan “Sausage” Mushroom Pasta is full of rich flavors, nourishing vegetables, and tender pasta all coated in a creamy sauce. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons tamari, divided *
- 1 cup yellow onions, small dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- ¾ cup vegetable broth *
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
- ½ cup hot pasta water
- 2 teaspoons white miso *
- 2 teaspoons tahini (optional) *
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup cooked brown lentils (optional) *
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped (or greens of choice)
- 10 oz. GF penne pasta (or pasta of choice)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed fennel seeds (+/-) *
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (+/-) *
Other Optional Ingredients:
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Red pepper flakes
- Fill a medium stock pot with water to boil the pasta. Start cooking the pasta, cook according to package directions. Retain one cup of hot pasta water to use in Step 5 below. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain, rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process and to remove any excess starches, shake to remove any water, set aside.
- In the meantime, place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the red pepper flakes) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet/Dutch oven/pot (or similarly large stockpot) add the sliced cremini mushrooms and tamari, sauté over medium-high heat for 4 minutes to allow the mushrooms to release some of their water.
- Then add the diced onion to the skillet with the mushrooms, sauté over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes to soften the onions, then add the finely minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat for one minute.
- Add the vegetable broth, plant milk, hot pasta water, nutritional yeast, and miso, then increase the heat to a boil, add the Spice/Herb ingredients and cooked brown lentils, stir well, then immediately lower to a low simmering boil.
- Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the pasta and baby spinach, simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
- Add the red pepper flake, simmer one minute. Taste test and add additional seasoning to achieve the desired flavor. Remove from the stove and allow to sit for a few minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the liquid.
- Serve and top with Vegan Parmesan Cheese, and some freshly chopped parsley and red pepper flakes.
*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.
*Miso: We use 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 substitute with chickpea miso for a soy free version.
*Tahini: We added just a hint of tahini to this dish to add some richness to the broth. You can leave it out if you wish, but we felt it was totally worth it.
*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.
*Dried Thyme Leaves: We use Penzeys French Thyme. It has amazing flavor. If you can’t find dried thyme leaves, you can use ground thyme, but use half the amount.
*Dried Crushed Fennel Seeds: We really enjoy the flavor of fennel. You can typically taste the fennel in the sausage so that is where we are coming from when we named this dish. Please feel free to use as much or as little fennel as you wish.
*Red Pepper Flakes: We love red pepper flakes. It totally adds a lot of flavor to this dish. If you are concerned about the heat, start on the lower end (1/4 teaspoon), and then sprinkle additional red pepper flakes on individual servings. We used ½ teaspoon in several kitchen tests. We also had family members that preferred the full teaspoon, but that really cranks up the heat, not for the timid at a full teaspoon. We consistently preferred ½ teaspoon on final kitchen tests.
*Lentils: You can leave the lentils out of the dish or you can substitute just about any bean you wish. In previous kitchen tests, we used canned lentils and they were fantastic. For our photoshoot, we accidentally left them out and the dish still tasted amazing. The measurement of one cup of lentils was after the lentils had been cooked. Select lentils that hold their shape after cooking. If we don’t have time to cook lentils, we like to use Delallo Imported Italian Lentils. They come in a 14 oz. can. Most grocery stores carry them in the specialty aisles.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.