Whether you prefer it vegan or not, this dish is in the group called “comfort food”. It is warm, simple to prepare, rich in flavour and delicious.
For a bit of background, I was so thrilled when I discovered this dish. All you need is a few basic ingredients we usually have in the pantry and then you can add any extras you crave. Even in its simplest form, in three words this dish is quick, (super) simple and delicious.
You have to give this a try!
The classic Alfredo recipe has a lot of butter, Parmesan cheese and sometimes heavy cream. This recipe is a much much much lighter version and it’s vegan unless you sprinkle cheese or other extras on top.
I used wholewheat penne but feel free to use any pasta shape you have in your pantry. Also, I was in the mood for some greens as well so when the sauce was almost cooked, I added Brussels sprouts which I had roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 45 minutes. It ended up a bit bitter but really good.
Total cooking time for this recipe is less than 30 minutes. Everything cooks at the same time, so when you start with the sauce you can also put some water on the boil for the pasta.
Ingredients (for 2 portions):
- 200g pasta (linguini, penne…any kind of pasta shape really)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium size yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 350ml vegetable broth (or dissolve a vegetable cube in 350ml cold water in a bowl)
- 3 heaped tbsp flour (plain or gluten-free)
- 2 tbsp soy/tamari sauce
- 100ml non-dairy milk (optional; oat milk goes well, but any milk is fine to give some extra creaminess)
- 1 tbsp tahini (optional; for even extra rich creaminess)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (for the cheesiness)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (it goes well in this recipe, but feel free to use regular paprika if you don’t have the smoked one)
- Salt and pepper to season
For the pasta:
When the water is boiling, add some salt and then the pasta. Cook as per the instructions. Roughly, they need about 10 mins cooking. Remove from boil and drain them 1 minute earlier if you want them al dente.
I prefer my pasta al dente both because of the taste and health benefits. Al dente means that the pasta texture is firmer. Translated from Italian, al dente = to the tooth. Al dente pasta is easier to digest, keeping blood sugar in better control.
Note: The final step is to add the cooked pasta in the skillet with the ready warm sauce for a good mix so that the creaminess covers every bit of the pasta! At that stage they keep cooking slightly. So it’s good to have this in mind and drain them a few seconds or another minute earlier, too.
For the creamy sauce:
1. Heat up the olive oil in a large deep skillet on a medium high heat.
2. Sauté the onion with a pinch of salt. Salt helps them brown and cook more evenly and release the moisture. If the onions stick to the pan, add a couple tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan.
3. When onions are soft and brown-ish add the garlic and thyme.
4. In a bowl whisk together the vegetable broth, flour and soy sauce until the mixture is smooth.
5. Pour the mixture in the skillet on medium high heat and stir. It will thicken up pretty quickly.
6. Add the rest of ingredients and stir. The sauce will get thick and ready in about 8 minutes on medium high heat.
7. When the 8 minutes pass add the cooked drained pasta in the hot creamy sauce and mix altogether.
Rich, creamy, smokey pasta is ready! Add any extras if you like. Serve hot and enjoy 🙂
Until next time, stay safe.