The sauce for this irresistibly creamy vegan pasta recipe is made with white miso paste, dijon mustard and soaked cashews. Pan-fried Brussels sprouts top it off. The best part is that this flavourful plant-based meal is ready in just 20 minutes.
The First Mess Cookbook
My cookbook has lots of simple vegan pasta inspiration, and just a variety of vegan dinner ideas using seasonal produce.
Something I tend to spend time on that I don’t talk about on here: creeping people’s grocery hauls on Instagram, their blogs etc. I’m also a big time cart-glancer at Costco, the local grocery spot, any food-selling store really. I get some surprising inspiration for easy vegan dinner recipes out of this activity. Also, when I see chocolate pudding and salty snacks nestled up against bags of sweet potatoes, avocados and 3 types of greens, I just strongly relate! (and maybe I start thinking about making this avocado pesto pasta).
I like to think that Jeanine and Jack from the Love & Lemons blog have some particularly excellent grocery/market hauls. I’ve been a fan of their work since forever. I love Jeanine’s fresh combinations that have just the right amount of effort and plenty of style. The easy-elegant vibe. I love that approach with plant-based food.
I’ve been cooking from their new cookbook for a couple weeks now with great results! I made the carrot spelt waffles for a weekend breakfast, and then the quinoa taco salad for a light weeknight dinner, and now this creamy miso pasta with Brussels sprouts. I plan to just keep going, too.
Jeanine employs a “cook backwards” strategy that really works for my cooking style and kitchen stocking strategy. The book is composed of produce-specific chapters with recipes, great one-off ideas, and storage tips. Once I went through the chapters (and noted that my pantry stock is strikingly similar to theirs), I realized that there were so many things I could make.
Some tips for this pasta:
- Miso is such a key ingredient here! It provides umami, depth of flavour, and an unmistakable salty quality. I love using milder chickpea and barley-based versions in my cooking. It’s a great flavour enhancer for salad dressings, sauces, soups, and even sweet things like cookies and caramel sauces.
- In this recipe, the Brussels sprouts are cut simply into halves. If you’d like to cut the cooking time down, trim them into quarters.
- When pan-frying Brussels sprouts, you want to get your pan quite hot over medium-high heat. Sear the halved Brussels sprouts until you get some caramelization on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Then, keep stirring them until bright green and tender, about 7-10 more minutes.
This pasta was so creamy and it had a satisfying depth of flavour from the miso. It sounds silly, but I had never cooked non-shredded Brussels sprouts in a pan over high heat on the stovetop. I usually just go the oven-roasted route, but I liked these so much better. The super hot cast iron gave them crispy edges but they stayed nice and tender throughout. Best part: this whole thing was ready in 20 minutes. The serving size says 3-4, but my partner and I took down most of this–just so good!
There’s still so many recipes that I need to try from this book. It’s the perfect companion for when local produce really starts coming on. Highly recommended it if you love bold doses of visual inspiration and plenty of tasty and healthy things to eat.
20-Minute Miso Pasta with Brussels Sprouts
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3-4 hours + drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon white/mellow miso paste
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
For The Pasta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 8 ounces long pasta (I used brown rice spaghetti here)
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- chili flakes, optional
- From Love & Lemons: An Apple to Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking
- Jeanine notes that if you aren’t using a high-speed blender for the sauce, you may have to blend it an extra minute or so to get it nice and creamy.
- In the original recipe, fettucine is used as the pasta. I used brown rice spaghetti because that was the only long pasta I had on hand. It was still great, but I think a thicker/wider noodle would have been even better from a textural perspective.
- Make the sauce: in a high-speed blender, puree the cashews, miso paste, garlic, Dijon mustard, water, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, along with a pinch of salt. Let them sear until the cut side becomes golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Toss and continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until tender.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan, toss once more, then remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the sauce, adding pasta water as needed to thin the sauce and make it creamy. Add the brussels sprouts and toss until heated through.
- Serve pasta hot with freshly ground black pepper and chili flakes, if using.