Creamy Vegan Mushroom Campagnola
Serves: 2 hungry humans or 4 small portions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
A luscious creamy vegan mushroom pasta with rosemary and a secret ingredient.
I’ve been in love with pasta since I can remember my first food memory. It was and will always be my absolute favourite foodie love affair. Pasta lover for life, YES! When I was a little kid I used to cook up a storm for friends and family. I often took pots of food across the road to feed the neighbours. My mom worked from home and would look down out of her office window to see me at the age of about 10, leading kids much younger than me across the road carrying half her kitchen with us, haha. On the menu was usually some kind of pasta dish, salad and dessert. Yes, pasta is easy to make, I had a couple of things I could whip up at a young age but because I loved pasta so much then and even more so now it was always my go-to for a quick meal. I honestly believe I was an Italian in my previous life, I could eat pasta or noodles for breakfast, lunch and supper.
This recipe is an ode to one of my first bosses, Kurt and Andre. When I was fresh out of high school, I worked at their fine dining restaurant in my hometown and it was an extremely popular spot for locals and international tourists. One of the dishes that they made was a chicken and mushroom campagnola which they would also do as a vegetarian alternative and leave the chicken out. It was one of my favourite dishes at the restaurant – packed with dairy-based cream, white wine and wheat pasta. So in honour of this foodie memory and many lessons learnt working for my crazy, dynamic and talented bosses, I have re-created this beautiful dish as a vegan alternative as well as being dairy, gluten and alcohol-free.
A little note on apple cider vinegar with ‘the Mother’: Organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the most beneficial apple cider vinegar from a health perspective. The ‘mother’ refers to the yeast and bacteria that are formed during the fermentation process. Buying apple cider vinegar that includes the mother means that the little strands inside the bottle (parts of the ‘mother’) have the protein, enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that you want from using apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has nutritional benefits for blood sugar levels, digestion and heart health.
2 tbsp cultured cashew butter or extra virgin olive oil
250g mushrooms, sliced (portabello or large brown mushrooms work well)
300g gluten-free pasta of choice – measurement is dried weight
1-1,5 cups full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar with ‘the mother’
½ cup cashew nuts, soaked overnight or minimum 4 hours
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp dried vegetable stock (my favourite pantry staple from Mary Ann’s) – alternatively you could also sub garlic powder, onion powder and herb salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pure maple syrup or light agave nectar
1 tbsp jalapeno relish (optional)
Generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste
Roughly chopped toasted cashew nuts
Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
In a large saucepan, heat the cultured cashew butter or olive oil on medium heat. Once hot add the mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes and then add the dried vegetable stock and fresh rosemary. Cook until the mushrooms are crispy and the pan is dry. Add the apple cider vinegar to the pan and let it cookout. This is called deglazing – it adds immense flavour to the dish. Wine is often used to deglaze a pan but apple cider vinegar is my secret hack for this dish. The vinegar will basically cook out but infuse the tangy flavour into the mushrooms.
In a blender, combine the cashew nuts, coconut milk (1 cup), onion powder, garlic powder, maple syrup or light agave nectar, jalapeno relish, salt and black pepper together and blend until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is very thick, thin out with the additional ½ cup of coconut milk.
Pour the creamy cashew and coconut sauce into the mushroom mix and gently stir through, allow to cook for 5-7 minutes on low heat until the sauce is nicely thickened. Add the cooked pasta into the sauce mix and combine well. Serve with roughly chopped toasted cashew nuts. Enjoy!
Special thanks to photographer, Samantha Lowe, and food-stylist, Christi Wasserman.