This article has been updated from its original March 2017 version.
Sometimes, you just need a big bowl of pasta at the end of the day, you know? Whether you’ve had a rough one, or just want to treat yourself, this mushroom pesto pasta always hits the spot. The whole thing comes together in the time it takes to boil a pot of water and you can use whatever herbs, nuts/seeds, and mushrooms you’ve already got on-hand. Let’s dive in…
Choosing Your Pasta Shape
I like to use short pasta here (instead of something like spaghetti) because the pesto gets into all its little crevices. I recommend something non-tubular, like farfalle, orecchiette, gemelli, or shells.
Making Vegan Pesto
As you probably know, traditional pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Pine nuts can be expensive (and hard to find), so I usually use whatever I already have – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Whichever you use, make sure they’re roasted, since that’s where much of the flavor comes from.
When making vegan pesto, white miso works as a Parmesan substitute, giving the sauce a cheesy, savory taste that rounds out the whole dish.
I recommend making a double batch of the pesto for stashing in the fridge. It’s great for spreading on sandwiches or tossing with roasted vegetables. Pesto also freezes nicely, which is useful if you don’t plan on using it up within a week.
With all that said, if you’re feeling lazy, this pasta dish will work just as well with store-bought pesto. Just be sure to look for a brand that uses high quality ingredients and no artificial preservatives.Print
Pasta with sautéed mushrooms and vegan basil pesto is a simple weeknight dinner that always hits the spot.
For the Mushrooms and Pasta
- 3/4 pound short pasta, like farfalle, gemelli, or shells
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Pinch of salt + pepper
For the Pesto
- 3 packed cups basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
- 1/3 cup roasted almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds
- 1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Boil a large pot of water for the pasta.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil, nuts, and garlic. Pulse until everything is broken down. Then add the lemon juice, miso, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, gradually stream in the oil and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Generously season the boiling water and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the mushrooms and pesto and toss to combine.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 460
Keywords: pasta, mushrooms, pesto, vegan, basil