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pinach and mushroom pasta in a stainless steel skillet. The pasta is creamy and pale green and topped with brown, sautéed mushrooms.
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Creamy Vegan Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

This creamy vegan spinach and mushroom pasta is simple to prepare, satisfying, flavourful, wholesome, and requires only 12 key ingredients!
Cuisine American, Italian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 10 ingredients, all seasons, baby spinach, blender, cremini mushrooms, fall, garlic, lemon juice, miso, mushrooms, pasta, pine nuts, quick, spinach, spring, summer, tamari, white beans, winter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 4 cups baby spinach (not packed), divided
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • ½ cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons light miso
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 lb (454 grams) Cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
  • 1 lb (454 grams) pasta

Instructions

  • Start making the creamy spinach sauce first. Set out a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pour in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the zucchini the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the zucchini until very soft and slightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes.
  • Add half of the garlic and 3 cups of the spinach to the pan and stir. Keep sautéing until the spinach has just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Scrape all of the sautéed zucchini, spinach, and garlic into the container of an upright blender. To this, add the pine nuts, white beans, miso, lemon juice, and vegetable stock. You can season with a bit more salt and pepper at this point, but be mindful that the miso is quite salty. Blend this mixture on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Give the sauce a taste. It should be pretty intense on the garlic and miso front! Adjust the sauce to your taste if necessary and set aside.
  • Start cooking your pasta by following the package directions. Reserve 1 full cup of pasta cooking water before draining.
  • Wipe your sauté pan out and place it over medium-high heat. Pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl it around. Add all of the sliced mushrooms to the pan and scatter them out into an even layer. Season the mushrooms with pepper and leave them alone for 1 full minute. Give the mushrooms a stir and leave them for another full minute.
  • Once the second minute is up, give the mushrooms a stir. They should be glistening and letting off liquid. Season them with salt at this point. Keep sautéing the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they are deep golden brown and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and the tamari to the pan and cook for another full minute. Once the mushrooms are done, keep them warm in the pan.
  • Reserve a few big spoonfuls of mushrooms for scattering over the top of the pasta. Then, add all of the cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the mushrooms, along with the creamy spinach sauce and remaining baby spinach. Start stirring the pasta together with tongs and add enough starchy pasta water to get everything loosened up and super creamy. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper as well.
  • Once the sauce level is to your liking and the spinach is wilted, top the pasta with the reserved mushrooms, chili flakes if you wish, and extra black pepper. Serve immediately!

Notes

  • Any pasta shape is fine! I went with Linguine because that’s what I had on hand. 
  • I have tried this with a white flour pasta, a brown rice pasta, and a chickpea-based pasta. My honest opinion is that the chickpea pasta was just too bean-y for a sauce that already contains white beans. I know that some folks have dietary restrictions, but I would recommend avoiding a bean-based pasta here.
  • I really recommend serving this with some homemade vegan "parmesan". A quick video with my method can be found here.
  • You can substitute any of the following for pine nuts: soaked raw sunflower seeds, raw cashews, or macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts will need an increased soaking time of 4 hours.
  • To make this soy-free, look for a chickpea-based miso and use coconut aminos instead of Tamari. 
  • Getting full browning and caramelization on the mushrooms is what makes this pasta really pop! Take your time browning them and give the mushrooms enough space in the pan.