Penne pasta with mushrooms and vegan alfredo sauce.

So…day 3 has almost passed and it is going okay. The smoothies are a delight. Today I purchased a couple of mangoes for tomorrow morning’s one.

For dinner I am attempting something new. Oh boy !!! Now this is my own recipe. I looked up a few sites trying to find something interesting to make and learned quite a lot about vegan/gluten free cooking. Naturally I also have to ditch sugar and soy…so it is time to do some reinventing.

Recipe for Jo’s penne pasta with mushrooms and vegan alfredo sauce.

  • coconut oil
  • 500 grams of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 200-250 ml of coconut milk
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • mustard
  • lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • fine Himalayan pink salt and black pepper
  • Italian herbs
  • 100 grams gluten free pasta

mushroomsOne thing I learned from watching Julie & Julia was that when browning mushrooms you mustn’t crowd them or they won’t brown nicely. Thank you Hollywood !

If you have fur babies feed the wee beasties beforehand.

catOr maybe not. That way if you drop anything on the floor they suck it up. Just be careful what you drop is not poisonous to them.

fox terrierChevvy is my own wee vacuum cleaner.

It is best to prepare the sauce first. To your blender add the coconut milk, garlic, lemon juice and mustard. I added about a 1/3 of a teaspoon of Hot English Mustard and 4 cloves of garlic. You could use another milder mustard if you don’t like heat. I suggest adding small amounts of both the mustard and the garlic and tasting as you go along until it suits your palette. If you’re not a real garlic fan you could roast it before.

Blend this well until smooth. Then add the cashews and blend again. I like to leave them a little crunchy but if you prefer smooth just keep going. I made the mistake of blending it all at once…which didn’t quite get all the garlic smooth, something I found out when crunching in to what I thought was a cashew.

IMG_0270Even for a garlic lover it was a bit much.

Chop up your Italian herbs…anything will do. It is winter here and herbs are in short supply so I cheated and used dried herbs…an Italian mix.

Boil the water and add the gluten free pasta when it is boiling. Some people like to add salt…personally there is enough flavour in the sauce to not be necessary. I used penne pasta for this, and it worked for me brilliantly.

IMG_0267Now add some coconut oil to a fry pan. Just enough to coat the pan. And then place the mushrooms in so they all have their own space to do what they should…brown.

mushroomsHeat the oven and as you take the mushrooms out [and add more], put them in the oven to stay warm.

Once the mushrooms are cooked and the pasta al dente, drain the pasta. Add it back to the pan and add the sauce and mushrooms. Place it back on the heat and warm. If using dried herbs I suggest adding them before heating. Fresh herbs might be nicer if left until just before serving.

vegan pasta alfredoNow…bon appΓ©tit

vegan pasta alfredoThis was enough for dinner for me and I have some left over for lunch tomorrow. You could add more pasta to bulk it up, without detracting from the dish, if making it for two.


  1. Hmmm…looks and sounds delicious. I love mushrooms!
    The furry kids are just adorable! Now I’m hungry too. Please teleport me a bowl of that delicious pasta dish..thank you! πŸ˜‰ *big hugs*


  2. eheh… It seems good !
    But, If you cook Italian, you don’t have to say “Bon appetit” but “Buon Appetito !” πŸ˜€
    I didn’t know that “pasta al dente” is said every where πŸ˜€
    Ciao Jo ! πŸ˜‰


    1. Thanks Max for the heads up on what to say in Italian…I will remember it for next time. The only reason I actually said ‘bon appetit’ was that was what Julia Childs used to say at the end of her TV programme. Yep…’al dente’ is probably now an English word.


    1. She is a cutie for sure. She is licking my hand as I try to type this. I feed the animals a raw food diet and she loves to lick my fingers after wards. Makes it hard to do much..hehehe


  3. I am so trying that! I’ll let you know how it goes when I do. Thanks! Yum…
    P.S. glad things are going well. Keep up the good work, and keep sharing) πŸ˜‰


  4. I noticed that you use gluten-free pasta. Do you suffer from gluten-intolerance? I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2001. I’ve been on a gluten-free diet ever since.


    1. Not that I know of Russell. It is all part of the detox. Cut out all stuff that sometimes produce bad reactions in people and see what helps. It is supposed to be cutting out all ‘not natural’ foods from the diet. Though being allowed things such as protein powder and herbal teas seems a bit of a contradiction really. I am already a vegetarian, so this isn’t too big a step for me…though man I miss my morning coffee.


    1. Thanks Amy…I am wondering what will be the reaction when I post my first disaster in the kitchen. Lots of laughter I guess.


  5. I love the sound of this with coconut milk, brilliant idea. 500 grams is too many mushrooms for me, I’d have to swap some for peppers or something πŸ™‚


    1. By the time they fry up Gilly there really is not a lot of them in the mix but you could easily just use 250-300 grams instead. Then the cashew sauce would be more dominant…which would also be really good as the sauce is great. I am going to try it one day without any mushrooms. I think it would be delicious just with the cashew sauce too.


  6. This actually looks REALLY tempting, Jo. Not what I expected. I don’t know how you are making it without coffee, but I am VERY proud of you for sticking with this! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great pics – love the one of you eating garlic (lol) and Chevvy looks adorable.


    1. It was really yummy !! I am surprised that I am doing okay without coffee. I even made one yesterday for a friend and didn’t crave any myself. Day 10 and counting.


  7. Sounds wonderful. Miles loves when we cook since we are sloppy and he gets to clean the floor. Then he likes to help with the dishes. Of course, don’t tell folks that.


Comments are closed.