Why I chose Rachael, you ask? Well, for one, I love her.
She has been a very influential person for me with regards to how I’ve learned about food preparation and technique. My parents and I began watching 30 Minute Meals probably 10 years ago by now. That show alone inspired my mom to cook more from-scratch meals since she saw that it didn’t take very long. From that point, we made the transition from semi-homemade meals to full scratch-cooking for dinner! What a treat. After that, we started to use products like extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO as Rachael calls it) and fresh garlic almost every day.
Don’t get me wrong, my mom did cook from scratch before that point, but it wasn’t every day. Normally, she would save scratch meals for certain dishes or special occasions. I don’t blame her. Raising kids is hard and time consuming.
But, as my sister and I got a little older, we gave my mom more time to spend thinking about our family meals. At a certain point, I started to help my mom cook. That’s where my story as a cook began!
So, as you can imagine, choosing a person to make a vegan meal for today was a pretty easy choice. Rachael Ray has always been someone I’ve followed. I also love that she embraces food trends as they evolve. She’s recognized allergen-free cooking and vegan cuisine on her shows before, which I love. She also offers meatless options for many of her dishes on her cooking shows. She also loves Veganaise, so that’s awesome! =D
The dish that I decided to veganize is not only something that Rachael would make (which it is!), it’s something I grew up eating. My mom made linguine with clam sauce many times as a quick and easy dinner. It didn’t cost much to make and it was filling and tasty.
Unfortunately, I didn’t eat ever again it after I went vegetarian in high school. I do love the flavor of the sauce, though. I love the briny umami of the clams, the velvety texture of the olive oil, the comforting bite of the pasta…all of those are fond memories. Now more than ever, however, I’m trying to eat as clean as possible (and of course, cruelty-free).
I decided to substitute the clams for a classic vegan meat alternative: mushrooms!
I love mushrooms and always have. I worked some magic on them and made them taste like little bites of clam by marinating them in a quick dashi: vegetable broth and two types of seaweed. It was an easy step that gave my resulting sauce the hint of sea flavor (umami) that it needed!
Oh, yeah, and I hit it with a little organic white wine and made a side of gluten-free garlic bread. 😉
Vegan Fettuccine with “Clam” Sauce
Yield: Approx. 2-3 servings
Adapted from Linguine with Clam Sauce by Rachael Ray
- 1/2 pound of gluten-free fettuccine/linguine of choice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 containers white button mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes, opt.
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used Frey Chardonnay)
- 1 vegan bullion cube
- Handful of fresh basil
- 1 stamp-sized piece of dried kombu
- 1 stamp-sized piece of dried dulse
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Garlic bread*
- In a large stock pot, fill 3/4 of the way with water. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Drop your pasta into the boiling water, stir and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse your pasta to keep it from cooking. Set it aside while you prepare the rest of your dish.
- In a large bowl, put all your mushroom pieces together with enough boiling water to cover. Add your bullion cube and both seaweeds. Stir and let marinate while you prepare the rest of your dish.
- While your pasta cooks, add half of your olive oil to a large lidded sautee pan and heat over medium-low.
- Add your garlic, shallots and salt and pepper.
- Sautee your garlic and shallots for about 3 minutes, or until soft and browned slightly.
- Add all the mushrooms to the pan using a spider or slotted spoon so the liquid drains out.
- Add the wine to the pan and stir the vegetables to incorporate. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Add the rest of the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce reduces a bit.
- Add some soaking liquid to achieve a lighter sauce if desired.
- Add the pasta to the sautee pan and stir lightly to coat the pasta in the sauce.
- Turn off the heat and serve your pasta immediately. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
- 2 large slices of bread, sliced in half (I used my own gluten-free bread, any you prefer will do!)
- 1 Tb vegan butter/coconut oil, divided
- garlic powder
- vegan mozzarella cheese, opt. (I used Follow Your Heart)
Spread 1/2 Tb of vegan butter/coconut oil on each slice of bread. Sprinkle each one with some garlic powder, to taste. Top them with vegan cheese, if desired.
Pop your bread slices into a 350 F degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until they are toasted and the cheese is slightly melted. Enjoy with some pasta and maybe a little wine. 😉