Monday, February 1, 2010

Penne with Shiitakes, Olives, and 'Asiago'

It can be a bit difficult to work out quantities when you only want a recipe to feed 1 person. And let's be honest, quite often if you're a vegan you're probably the only vegan at the table. In that vein, I intend to do a couple of recipes in the near future specifically designed for 1. Enjoy!

For this pasta, you'll only need about 1 serving of penne (which is generally 2 ounces, or 3/4 cups dry pasta, enough to make 1 and 1/2 cups cooked pasta). For small dishes such as this, then, I actually prefer buying rice pasta - not out of any avoidance of gluten, but because rice pasta is often sold in packages of only 8 ounces, as opposed to 16 ounces. That way, I find myself with a lot less leftover random shapes of half-empty pasta boxes filling my pantry! But you can use any kind of penne pasta you like - rice, wheat, or even one of the fancier ones on the market - DeBoles now makes a quinoa/amaranth penne!

While you cook 3/4 cup uncooked penne according to package directions, heat a small skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps, 1 tablespoon chopped shallot, and 1 minced garlic clove; saute for 2 minutes.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups torn fresh spinach, 1 tablespoon chopped basil and 1 teaspoon rice vinegar; cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives; cook a final 15 seconds.

Toss together the mushroom mixture, the cooked penne, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/8 tsp. black pepper and just a dash of salt.

Spoon the pasta onto a plate and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese in place of Asiago (such as the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods). You'll have 1 entree of 550 calories.

Note: if you look closely in my photo you might see that my olives are green, not black (ripe). That's because I noticed a can on the grocery store shelf proclaiming the first ripe olive still retaining its shades of green. I had to give it a try! Indeed, the flavor was like a black olive, but the color a deep, blackish-green.

shiitake mushrooms $3.99
fresh spinach $2.50
basil $2.99
ripe olives $3.99
penne pasta $2.00

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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