Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mushroom Rigatoni Bake

The original recipe suggested a couple different pasta shapes you could try in this hearty pasta casserole: gigli (not to be confused with the movie! a pretty cone-shaped pasta), or radiatore (a tight, coiled grill-shaped pasta). However, since both of those are fairly obscure, it's hard enough to find them in regular brands, much less organic versions! So I stuck with rigatoni, and used Whole Foods' house brand.

Cook 8 ounces of whichever pasta you choose according to package directions; drain and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, melt 2 teaspoons of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup sliced shallots and saute 3 minutes.

Add 8 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom caps, 4 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 3 minced garlic cloves; saute 8 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon dry sherry and cook an additional minute, then remove from heat and set aside. For the sherry, I love the unfiltered Fino en Rama from Alvear, because I can be sure it is vegan.

Place 1/4 cup all-purpose flour in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add 2 cups plain soy milk (such as Silk), stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil, then cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup grated vegan cheese until it melts - the original recipe used Asiago, but I used the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods.

Stir in the cooked pasta and the mushroom mixture, tossing to combine. Spoon the mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with another 1/2 cup grated 'cheese'.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Divide into 4 equal portions (about 1 and 1/2 cups each), for 4 hearty entrees of 480 calories. Garnish with thyme sprigs if you like for a pretty presentation.

rigatoni pasta $1.99
shallots $0.68
shiitake mushrooms $7.98
cremini mushrooms $1.16
fresh thyme $2.49
dry sherry $13.97
vegan mozzarella $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance