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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Creamy Shiitake Pasta w/ Blistered Shishito Peppers (Vegan, GF, Yeast-Free, Veggie-Rich, High Protein)

HELLOOOO shishitos (one of my new fav peppers)! Did you know that one in ten shishito peppers is spicy? Nowadays I have a much better tolerance of heat/spiciness. And I LOOOOVE shishito spiciness. You will too, in this dish! Here, creamy, rich pasta with a vegan shiitake white sauce meets pan-seared shishito peppers in a delicious dinner you are bound to love. Veggie- and protein-rich with a load of fiber, this dinner is also very healthy. Just be sure if you want to pack a protein punch, to pick a high-protein gluten-free pasta, such as chickpea or red lentil-based pasta. For a keto option for these noodles, check out the "Substitutions section."



Another Dimpled Date dinner recipe! It seems all of the dinner recipes on here are pasta... But they're just SOOOO good!


This one's a little different from your classic pasta though. It features a rich creamy shiitake mushroom cream sauce (vegan, ofc) served with whole blistered shishito peppers (the whole pepper is edible, except for the stem!). It's wholesome, umami, and oh-so delicious. Not to mention plant-, vegetable-, and mushroom-rich as well as packed with fiber and protein. This is a healthier lighter creamy pasta, so if you find fettuccine alfredo too heavy, then this pasta may just be for you.



As always, this pasta is vegan, gluten-free, and yeast-free. I can't iterate this enough: it's veggie-rich and protein-rich if you choose a high-protein gluten-free pasta such as chickpea-based pasta, red-lentil-based pasta, or another legume-based pasta. If you use a high-protein gluten-free pasta, you don't need to cook up a separate protein to go with this dinner. If you do want a separate protein, some ideas include coconut-crusted tofu (just make sure it's vegan and gluten-free!), cooked edamame, or seitan bacon if you can have gluten.


As you likely know from my recent posts, I've enrolled in a cake decorating course and a glazing art course, so I can make beautiful and healthy wedding cakes and party cakes. But something else I want to share is that I've gotten into foraging! I had my first foraging session back in January/February and found and correctly identified onion grass AKA wild garlic! Since, then I've ID-ed many plants and have foraged garlic mustard, springbeauty flowers, wild violets, purple dead nettle, clover, and even rosehips! I may have even found golden ear mushrooms, and I chanced upon mayapples recently! I'm a baby forager, so I have a lot to learn. But I plan on eventually creating more recipes with my foraging harvests in the months to come and hope to post some foraged recipes on The Dimpled Date! Stay tuned...


Back to this recipe: it's a unique pasta dinner that changes it up from the typical Italian-inspired pasta recipes. So if you're looking for a new, lighter, super healthy pasta, this will be your next go-to!



Substitutions


You can use any kind and any shape of gluten-free pasta, homemade or store-bought (just remember if it's fresh and homemade, it requires less cooking time). Short pasta like rotini, penne, ziti, rigatoni, shells, farfalle, fusilli, and cassarecce are all good options, but so are spaghetti, angel hair, linguine, and fettuccine, chef's choice. You can use any kind of gluten-free pasta, such as brown rice pasta, corn-based pasta, amaranth pasta, quinoa pasta, multigrain pasta, chickpea pasta, red lentil pasta, yellow lentil pasta, mung bean pasta, black bean pasta, edamame pasta, cauliflower pasta, sweet potato pasta, butternut squash pasta, pumpkin pasta, the list goes on. I bet even soba noodles (buckwheat-based) or rice noodles (vermicelli or flat, brown rice, white rice, or black rice noodles) would work well. For keto, try shirataki AKA konjac noodles (as that would make this pasta keto, since all the other ingredients work on keto). If you wanted to, you could even try using vegan gluten-free tortellini or ravioli (homemade or store-bought) and cover them in the shiitake sauce, with the blistered shishito peppers served on the side. Chef's choice, really any gluten-free and vegan pasta will work. And stay tuned for a tortellini recipe, as I'm currently perfecting a recipe for homemade Vegan/GF Rainbow Tortellini with Carrot Top Pesto... stay tuned! Remember if you want high-protein gluten-free pasta to use a type like chickpea-based pasta, red-lentil-based pasta, or another legume-based pasta, or try vegan/GF tortellini or ravioli that are stuffed with high-protein vegan cheese or vegan proteins.


For the sauce, you may use any kind of mushrooms, fresh or dried (soaked before using, if dried), just be sure they're properly cleaned and prepared. This recipe specifically calls for shiitakes, but any kind will work, such as maitakes, oyster mushrooms, golden ear mushrooms, or even the typical portobellos or white buttons! The full-fat coconut milk can be substituted with your unsweetened plain plant milk of choice, pref. thick/extra-creamy, but the plant milk can be store-bought or homemade. And be sure it's unsweetened original as opposed to vanilla or flavored plant milk. Some ideas: thick/extra creamy sesame milk, thick/extra creamy buckwheat milk, unsweetened rice milk, unsweetened oat milk, unsweetened plain almond milk. The vegetable broth can't really be substituted, but you can use homemade. If you must, try substituting filtered water. You may use olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sesame oil (esp. toasted or roasted 😋), or macadamia oil. Really any high-heat healthy oil will work. Alternately, you can use additional vegan butter (homemade or store-bought). Likewise the vegan butter can be substituted with extra oil.


For the vegan Parmesan OR vegan mozzarella, you can use shaved or shreds. You can also do half vegan Parm, half vegan mozz OR you can substitute up to half of the vegan white cheese with vegan cheddar. If you want, use homemade vegan Parmesan, homemade vegan mozzarella, OR your homemade vegan white cheese of choice. Or, you could try omitting the vegan cheese, and instead add 1 tsp of nutritional yeast (if you can have it) and adding more to taste an additional tsp at a time to add a cheesy flavor. If you can't have yeast and don't have/don't want to use store-bought vegan cheese, try 1 Tbsp miso paste to add a probiotic-rich cheesy, salty, savory flavor to your sauce (ensure the miso is gluten-free! Look for chickpea- or soy-based miso pastes, and it's really up to your flavor preference what color you want to use). The sea salt can be replaced with table salt, but I don't recommend omitting it. The black pepper can be substituted with green pepper OR white pepper or may be omitted. The Italian seasoning is optional (it adds a little herbiness), but you may use a little dried or fresh herbs of choice, such as oregano, chives, or thyme. The fresh garlic is preferable, however, you can use pre-minced jarred garlic (typically 1/2 tsp minced garlic = 1 clove) OR substitute the fresh garlic with garlic powder (typically 1/4 tsp garlic powder = 1 clove). Alternatively (esp. if you don't tolerate garlic well), you can substitute the garlic with the white part of fresh green onions AKA scallions OR you can try shallots instead. Or, minced onion would work OR you could even try the bulb of foraged wild garlic/field garlic AKA onion grass (it's perfectly edible, bulb and all! Just wash it well first). If you don't tolerate any alliums, try omitting them.


The cornstarch can be substituted with arrowroot starch OR tapioca starch OR potato starch. For a keto thickener for the sauce, you could try psyllium husk powder, although I'm unsure how much to recommend.


I highly recommend the shishito peppers, they make the meal. But if you must, use another favorite pepper, such as poblanos, jalapeños (red or green), OR if you don't tolerate heat well, just core, deseed, chop, and sauté your favorite color of bell pepper on the side. For searing the shishitos, I recommend avocado oil spray, but a tiny bit of avocado oil or another high-heat oil will work well too. Or, don't use any oil, and just sear dry in the pan (it will still work great!). I also like to add a nice pinch of sea salt to my blistered shishitos (to give them a lil extra something), but feel free to season as you desire. Chili oil, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a pinch of sesame seeds, and/or a few cracks of black pepper would also be great. But you don't have to season them if you don't want, they'll still be great without seasonings.


If you have any other add-ins you want to add to the sauce, experiment and see what you like. If you really wanted, you could add greens or some cooked & soft veggies to the sauce to make it a green veggie-mushroom sauce or even add some additional fully cooked shiitakes or other mushrooms on the side with this dish.


If you need/want an additional protein, some suggestions are: vegan/GF coconut-crusted tofu, cooked edamame, miso-glazed tempeh, seitan bacon (if gluten is ok), or roasted peanuts. Get creative!



More Recipes, Coming Up!


Stay tuned, and check out the Gallery section of my website for my latest cake creations that I'm selling (but recipes aren't available). Happy (almost) May!!


Enjoy!

-K.



Creamy Shiitake Pasta w/ Blistered Shishito Peppers (Vegan, GF, Yeast-Free, Veggie-Rich, High-Protein)



Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6 (depending on serving size)


Ingredients:


  • For the pasta:


-8 or 10 oz gluten-free pasta or noodles of choice*


  • For the vegan shiitake mushroom white cream sauce**


-1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into small pieces


-one 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk, stirred (can sub unsweetened plant milk of choice)


-2 cups vegetable broth (make sure it's vegan)


-2 Tbsp avocado oil OR olive oil OR sesame oil OR macadamia oil (can sub high-heat oil of choice)


-1/4 cup vegan butter (store-bought or homemade)


-1 to 1 1/2 cups vegan Parmesan OR vegan mozzarella, shreds or shaved (can sub 1 tsp nutritional yeast plus more to taste OR 1 Tbsp GF miso paste plus more to taste)


-1/2 tsp sea salt

-few good cracks black pepper


-pinch Italian seasoning (optional)

-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced


-3 to 4 Tbsp cornstarch OR arrowroot starch OR tapioca starch OR potato starch



  • For the blistered shishitos:


-1/2 lb fresh shishito peppers, whole, rinsed & towel dried (be careful if you're sensitive, 1 in 10 is hot!)


-avocado oil spray OR a drizzle of avocado oil OR high-heat healthy oil of choice (optional)


-good pinch sea salt


Directions:


1. Cook pasta according to the package directions and according to your "doneness" preference (usually this takes no more than 8-10 min for most pastas/noodles). Strain and set aside.


2. While the pasta is cooking, make the white shiitake sauce: melt the vegan butter in a large pan on the stove over low heat. Once the vegan butter is melted, turn the heat to medium and add the oil and add the cleaned and chopped shiitakes. Sauté 7 minutes, stirring occasionally (remember: shiitakes need to be fully cooked, as undercooked or raw shiitakes can cause digestive upset and a nasty skin rash). Add the minced garlic and sauté until golden, another minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.


3. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat a medium-sized pan to medium heat and spray a little bit of avocado oil spray on the pan (or add a light drizzle of avocado oil/high-heat oil. Alternatively, leave the pan dry). Add the whole shishito peppers to the hot pan, and leave them to blister/sear on the pan on medium heat, stirring/shaking/tossing occasionally, until nice dark sears/blisters appear on the skin of the peppers, 10-15 minutes. You want a good sear so the peppers are tender and crispy, but you don't want too much char and you don't want to burn them. Remove from heat and add the pinch of salt, tossing to combine. Add other desired seasonings, such as a squeeze of lime/lemon, black pepper, a pinch of sesame seeds, chili oil, red pepper flakes, or seasonings of choice. You can eat all parts of the peppers (incl. seeds!) EXCEPT for the stem, as it poses a choking hazard.


4. While the shishitos are searing, transfer the cooked shiitake mushrooms & garlic (and all that glorious vegan butter & oil) to a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, and blend with the coconut milk, vegetable broth, vegan cheese, and spices on high until smooth, at least 30 seconds to a minute. Scrape down the sides & re-blend as necessary.


5. Pour the sauce back into the pan and add the cornstarch, stirring to dissolve, and cook over low heat until thickened & bubbling. Remove from heat.


6. Add as much of the sauce to the cooked pasta as you'd like (I have suggestions for leftover sauce) and toss to combine.


7. Serve with additional vegan Parm, fresh rosemary, a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil (or chili oil), red pepper flakes, cooked shiitake mushrooms, and ofc the blistered shishito peppers, and other toppings of choice (see "Substitutions" section for more suggestions). Or just serve the shiitake cream pasta with the blistered shishitos and keep it simple! If you want, you can serve this dish with vegan/GF coconut-crusted tofu, cooked edamame, or miso-glazed tempeh for an additional protein. Sautéed scallions/green onions would also go great tossed into this pasta. If you're sensitive to hot peppers, this creamy sauce is perfect to cool the palate, and slathering a little sauce on the shishitos would be delicious! Enjoy!


Store leftovers in an airtight container or sealed bowl in the fridge an enjoy within 1-2 days. See notes below for suggestions on how to use the leftover shiitake sauce.


NOTES:


*I used chickpea shells and farfalle, but any kind and shape works. Opt for a high-protein pasta based on lentils/legumes/beans if you don't want to cook an additional vegan protein for this dish, as those types of high-protein GF pastas have enough grams to function as both the protein and the carb (whilst also packing a fiber and iron punch!). For keto options for the noodles, see the "Substitutions" section of this post, above


**you will have leftovers of the shiitake sauce. Use it to make another batch of this dish the next night or incorporate it into a new meal by adding it as a white sauce on top of a flatbread topped w/ cooked shiitakes, chopped shishitos, and cooked veggies. OR try using the shiitake sauce as a dipping sauce OR use it in risotto and top it with cooked shiitakes/maitakes/oyster mushrooms and/or shishitos. This way, you have zero food waste!


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