Sautéed asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic combine with pasta and a light fat-free sauce in this delicious plant-based meal. Optional soy curls or chickpeas add heartiness, making this Asparagus Mushroom Pasta a very filling vegan main dish.
It’s amazing the things you can learn when you’re forced to order your groceries online, especially when you branch out and try different stores than you usually use. For instance, I haven’t been able to find whole wheat rotini or macaroni in months at our usual stores. There’s been plenty of penne and spaghetti and even bow tie pasta, but spirals and mac have been impossible to find.
But then “all of this” happened, and when Kroger started running out of a lot of the groceries I was ordering, I decided to give Walmart a try–and behold, all the whole wheat pasta I could want was suddenly available. It was a carb-lovers dream!
Other aspects of online ordering haven’t been as wonderful, especially the gamble you take when you allow someone else to choose your fruits and vegetables, Mostly I’ve been lucky, but once I received a package of raspberries that looked like they’d had a nasty encounter with a potato masher. Another time, we received 12 bananas instead of the 6 we ordered (yay, banana bread!)
This last grocery order brought me beautiful, crisp asparagus spears–the biggest I’ve ever seen at about 3/4-inch wide. Normally I try to select smaller asparagus, but I’m not complaining. Size really doesn’t matter when the asparagus is going into one of my family’s favorite pasta dishes.
I’ve been making variations of this asparagus mushroom pasta for ages, and I now have it perfected, with lots of fresh garlic and plenty of basil. The light sauce is just perfect for carrying the flavor without being heavy or obvious. To make it a heartier main dish, I add soy curls that have been rehydrated in “no chicken” bouillon, though feel free to add chickpeas or green peas to your asparagus pasta.
More Plant-Based Asparagus Recipes
While asparagus is plentiful, try some of my favorite recipes that use it:
Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta rotini preferred
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
- 8 ounces baby bella or regular mushrooms sliced
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon (Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken preferred)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup soymilk or other unsweetened plant milk
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or potato starch or arrowroot)
- Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water according to package instructions. Just before it's done, scoop out and reserve 1 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and return to pan.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the asparagus by snapping off the ends: Hold the bottom of the spear in one hand and grasp it with the other hand about 2 inches away. Bend the spear and allow it to break. Discard the ends, and then cut the asparagus into pieces about 1 1/2-inch long.
- Heat a large covered skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook for a minute or two. Add 1/4 cup water and quickly cover. Allow the asparagus to steam for 2 minutes. Uncover and add the mushrooms. Add a splash of water if it seems dry and cover. Cook for about 2 minutes or until mushrooms exude their juices. (If it seems too dry, add a splash of water.) Uncover, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or two.
- Add the vegetables to the pasta and combine well. Keep warm on the lowest heat setting.
- Put 1 cup of the pasta water into a small saucepan. Place it over medium high heat and add the bouillion, basil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and red pepper. As it comes to a boil, whisk together the plant milk and starch in a small bowl and add it to the saucepan. Cook, stirring, until it boils and thickens slightly. Pour it over the pasta and vegetables, and stir to coat. If it seems dry, add a little of the remaining pasta water.
- Check the seasonings and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Optional Soy Curls
- Place soy curls and bouillon in a small saucepan and cover with water just until they begin to float. Bring to a boil and simmer until soy curls are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and press excess water out of soy curls. Add to the pasta just before serving.
- Instead of soy curls, add 1 cup cooked chickpeas or frozen (thawed) green peas.
- Toss a few leaves of fresh basil into pasta just before serving.
- Sprinkle with Almond Parmesan just before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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I hope you enjoy the pasta. Stay well!