Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 3, 2011: Marinated mushrooms & fettuccine alfredo

We don't eat a lot of pasta here at Casa Non Carne but the cooler weather got me in the mood.  We spotted some fabulous-looking fresh pasta at the Queen Vic Markets recently and took home half a kilo of pumpkin and poppyseed fettuccine.  I was keen for the creamy comfort of Alfredo sauce and stocked up on mushrooms for the veg component of our meal.

This alfredo sauce recipe is a popular vegan rendition from VeganYumYum - I bookmarked it when it was published a year and a half ago, and since then a few of my favourite veg blogs have given it favourable reviews.  Although the recipe simply has you throw all the ingredients into a blender or food processor at once, I took a little more care the grind the cashews first before introducing other ingredients.  I'd also recommend mixing the margarine into the ground cashews early, 'cause it created a weird fatty froth when I added it after the soy milk.  Ingredient sequencing aside, this sauce is a cinch to make and a pleasure to eat.

The mushroom dish is one that Marieke Hardy swears by, and I followed her online trail to this site for the recipe.  It's intended for shiitake mushrooms, Marieke uses oyster mushrooms, and we went for a flat/brown combo that turned out great.  We probably used a little too much marinade, but I put the leftover mushroom juices to good use later in the week.  This is one of those neat recipes where just a little effort pays off big in the taste stakes.

While I intend to make both of these recipes again, it probably won't be in the same meal.  They each derive a good portion of their savoury flavour from tamari and in combination it's a bit of a salty-soy overload.  I'll make it my mission to find these fine dishes more harmonious matches.

Marinated mushrooms
(based on Dusty's recipe, on the recommendation of Marieke Hardy)

700g mushrooms, whatever varieties you like
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
2/3 cup tamari
1/2 cup white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Brush any dirt off the mushrooms and arrange them, gills up, in a single layer in a high-walled baking dish.

Whisk together the oils, tamari and wine and pour them over the mushrooms. Sprinkle over the garlic.  Cover the tray with foil and bake the mushrooms for 40 minutes.

Hurry Up Alfredo
(from VeganYumYum)

1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of nutmeg
a few grinds of black pepper
500g fettuccine or other pasta

In a food processor, grind the cashews as finely as you can. Blend in the margarine, then the soy milk, then the remaining ingredients (excluding the pasta) until you have a smooth sauce. Taste it and adjust the seasoning to your preferences.

Cook and drain the pasta, then return it to its saucepan. Stir through the alfredo sauce and serve.


  1. YUM, that looks good and I like how you combined the marinated mushrooms with the pasta. Makes for a hardier/healthier meal. Bookmarked!

  2. I love the alfredo sauce from VYY although yours looks a bit different to how mine turns out these days. I think it's because I use a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika which gives the sauce a more orange colour. Tastes great though!

    The mushroom marinade sounds really nice too!

  3. I love this alfredo sauce! I made it quite a while ago and was surprised how quick and easy it was. I have bookmarked the mushroom recipe for wintery nights :D

  4. it is a sauce I have meant to make but it looks intense so I always feel it needs a side dish!

  5. I must try the Alfredo sauce.

  6. Inspiring, those mushrooms look so good!

  7. Katie Broadbent10:45 pm, May 22, 2012

    Hi guys!
    This is absolutely delicious! Just made the pasta alfredo with macaroni. I added some broccoli and cauliflower into the water with the pasta for the last few minutes of cooking, to boost the vege content.
    I also sauteed some mushrooms in olive oil, nuttelex and garlic to add on top, along with some raw spring onions.
    I didn't have any cashews, so I substituted them with some raw almonds. Ditto on the Dijon, so instead I used some of my housemate's 'Australian mustard'.
    I'm currently on day 11 of the 30 day vegan challenge ( ) and was beginning to really grieve the loss of cheese. (If I'm honest, I had succumbed to one of those super greasy cheese twists from Pie Face last week, at the halfway mark of a late night commute from Moorabbin, after a long day at work. -Please don't dob me in!)
    But having now made this dairy free delight, I'm feeling much more confident in being able to leave the cows to feed their own babies, instead of me!
    Thanks for posting this, I'll definitely be making it again :)

  8. I'm really glad to read you like this sauce - have read such conflicting opinions on this - some people seem to absolutely love it, others *hate* it. But I want to try it now! And I'm always on the lookout for great, quick ways of making mushrooms delicious. Thanks.

  9. Hi Cindy,
    Looks like a great recipe! Just wondering if you could please tell me where you guys get your nutritional yeast in Melbourne?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Clare,

      Our current stocks are from the Radical Grocery, which has sadly just closed. We'll probably be looking towards Organic Wholefoods or the Mad Cowgirls when we run out.

    2. Thanks for that Cindy! I live quite close to the Brunswick East Organic Wholefoods so I'll give that a go! Thanks again :)

    3. You're welcome, let us know if you find any other good sources in the neighbourhood!