Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tempeh & mushroom pasta

April 10, 2012
It's that time of year again! We've wound back our clocks, the evenings are cooler, we tend to cook ugly brown stews and I photograph them poorly at night. Sorry about that. At least these meals still taste great.

I saw this tempeh and mushroom pasta recipe on Vegan About Town last year (where Steph [or maybe D?] managed to photograph it more attractively), and when I gave it a go recently I equally referred to the source recipe at Seitan Is My Motor. I chose to slice the tempeh into bite-size pieces rather than chop it down to a mince, and I had fewer mushrooms than the recipe (and I) would prefer. The tempeh is flavoured with soy sauce, which is surprisingly good with pasta, but I wish I'd added it to the pan later so that its saltiness spread to the mushrooms as well.

This is a very minor complaint (and is easily solved next time). The creamy sauce, made mostly of walnuts blended into soy milk, brings everything together very well. And it doesn't taste of soy at all. I only started to tire of this dish an eensy bit on the fourth consecutive day of eating it. It's a rare meal that sustains my enthusiasm that long.

Tempeh & mushroom pasta
(adapted very slightly from recipes
at Seitan Is My Motor & Vegan About Town)

400g tempeh
250g button mushrooms (but use up to 600g!)
1 cup walnuts
4 cloves garlic
1 cup soy milk
300g linguine or other pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons thyme
salt and pepper

Boil a big pot of water for the pasta. Slice the tempeh and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.

Grind the walnuts and garlic as finely as possible in a food processor, and gradually add the soy milk to form a creamy sauce.

By this time, your water should be boiling - get your pasta into it and cook as directed on the packet.

In a large frypan, heat up the olive oil and add the tempeh pieces. Fry the tempeh, stirring occasionally, until it's beginning to brown - this will probably take at least 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook further until they're tender. Is your pasta ready? If so, go and drain that.

Pour the soy sauce over the tempeh and mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, allowing the flavour to absorb into the tempeh and shrooms. Pour over the walnut sauce and stir it through. Stir in the chives, paprika and thyme, then salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce is thick and creamy, add the pasta, gently stirring the mixture until the pasta is well-coated in sauce. Serve straight away.


  1. We don't have daylight savings over here in WA, but I still relate to the challenges of dinner photography!

    This pasta still looks and sounsd great. I like the idea of pairing tempeh and mushrooms, something about the flavour mix just seems right.

    1. Kari - yes! Tempeh and mushrooms make a great pair. :-)

  2. Thanks for the reminder, I have had this recipe bookmarked since last year too! Must give this a try now that I'm over my tempeh fears although I think smaller pieces would still suit me best. :)

    1. Mel - great to know that you've warmed a little to tempeh. There's no harm in chopping it finer here. :-)

  3. love a plate of brown winter food at this time of year - I remember this recipe and also bookmarked it - I thought it was a lasagna but maybe that is just how I thought I would make it

    1. ... so Steph has a tempeh lasagne recipe as well? It's gonna be a tasty tempeh-filled winter, I think. :-D

    2. I can't remember if I saw the recipe or just thought it would be good as a lasagna - but I imagine it wouldn't take much to convert it

  4. I believe that photo is one of Danni's!

    Johanna, if you bookmarked it from my blog I also posted about a tempeh lasagna that I make via SJ (from Fat Feminist Foodie) which may be stirring your memory?

    I want to eat this pasta right now.

    1. Props to Danni for flattering this ugly deliciousness in her photo. :-D