Recipe. You Won't Want To Miss This!
Tunde's Vegetarian Pasta.
It's beyond delicious.
Last week, my friend whipped up a pasta dish that was "beyond delicious." Her version was vegan and included brown rice pasta, crimini mushrooms, caramelized onion, sauteed garlic, and asparagus. Admittedly, I was starving, and she also poured a glass of lovely rose, but it was one of the best pasta dishes I've had. Both satisfying and light. She said that she made this dish often choosing from a variety of whole grain pastas, and varied combinations of vegetables. Here is the version I came up with to empty plates and rave reviews.
2 cloves of garlic
4 slices of red onion (thin)
1 pint of shiitake mushrooms (about 12 mushrooms), cleaned, bottom of stems cut off, and each mushroom sliced into 4 pieces
1 bag or "shell" of organic baby spinach (washed and dried)
1/2 pound artichoke flour pasta (I used DeBoles)
Extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese, optional, or salt to taste
Fill a large pot to 2/3 full with salted water, cover and heat over a medium flame on a back burner.
Using two large sauté or deeper frying pans, place each over low+ heat (3 on a gas burner is perfect). Add olive oil to scantly coat the bottom of each pan. In one, add the garlic and allow to brown, while in the other, add the onion, separating the rings and allowing to soften. After about 6-7 minutes, add the spinach to the garlic pan, stir, lower heat, and cover; at the same time, add the sliced mushrooms to the onion pan and cook, keeping the heat at the original flame height.
After 3-4 minutes turn off garlic-spinach pan leaving covered. Allow onions and mushrooms to continue cooking.
If the water has not boiled yet, turn up the heat and bring contents to a boil. As soon as the water boils, add a tsp. of olive oil to the water, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, approximated 5 minutes.
Add the garlic-spinach along with any oil in the pan to the onion-mushroom pan. As soon as the pasta is ready, drain and add to the vegetables. Add a small amount of olive oil if needed. Sprinkle liberally with freshly grated black pepper.
I do not maintain a vegan diet, so I added ¼ cup of grated Romano cheese. If you do not add cheese, sprinkle the pasta with salt to taste. Toss and serve.
Update: I made this dish again, this time substituting whole wheat-quinoa pasta, local ramps and asparagus. I tossed the ramps and asparagus with olive oil and sea salt and roasted (separated but in one pan) for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees in a convection oven. (Can be grilled outside, but it was raining!) While the water was boiling, I roughly cut the veggies, added them to a skillet in which I heated a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, and then put it altogether as above--again adding the grated pepper and sheep's milk grated cheese to finish. Delicious--and even easier prep and clean up!