Hi, vegetarian carnivores! I am so excited to bring you another recipe from my Autumn 2018 series today. And the star of today’s recipe is none other than my good old friend, mushrooms. And I know you may be thinking “hooooold on a minute, Janani. How the heck are mushrooms an autumn thing?” And to that I say think about classic fall and winter dishes. You’ve got mushroom stroganoff, mushroom wellington, and a whole slew of chicken and mushroom dishes. It’s really a perfect fall ingredient and doubles with really giving us a rich and sometimes meaty texture. You can check out how to take advantage of the meaty texture of mushrooms in my chicken tenders recipe here. Today, we are going to be using a couple different kinds of mushrooms and some faux meat to make our chicken and mushroom tagliatelle. And for you vegans out there, rest easy because this is easily transformed into a vegan dish with one easy substitution!
In true vegetarian carnivore fashion
We all know that the fall is the time for warm and hearty meals. It is one of my favorite times of the year for so many reasons: the food, the colors (but let’s face it: I live in California and seasons don’t really exist here LOL), the fashion (I am a sucker for oversize sweaters and boots and scarves). Really, what’s NOT to love about this wonderful time?
And some most popular dishes of the season involve white meat, like chicken and turkey. I have found that the majority of recipes I have come across in my research and observation are “chicken and potatoes” or “roasted chicken and wild rice.” Stuff like that. So I thought it would be a really good combination to really take the carnivore in “the vegetarian carnivore” and make an imitation dish suitable for the fall.
The soy chicken in this recipe is Trader Joe’s chicken less strips. If you read how it is prepared, you will see that it is already seasoned with herbs. While that can be a good thing for a pasta primavera and other dishes, I soaked my pieces in warm water and double washed them to get as much of that flavoring out as I could. And here’s why. My base for this pasta is a butter (or oil, if you are vegan) sauce and I want all the ingredients to really absorb that flavor. And they will not be able to do that if they are already stuffed full of other flavors. So I am going to get rid of the preexisting flavor and add in my own.
Mushrooms go well with chicken
Guys, I literally googled chicken and mushrooms and had about 1000 recipes spit out at me. These combinations come second nature to you if you eat meat, but if you are vegetarian or vegan chances are that you have not tried out this combination much at all. It just is not a combination I thought of until I googled it. I am so glad, though, because it is absolutely delicious! The smoky and chewy flavor of the mushrooms in this dish compliment the soy chicken I used for this dish.
I used common mushrooms for this pasta: button and shiitake. I do like (nay, love) using fancy mushrooms, but fact is that they are not as easily available as some other ones. And I do make trips to Whole Foods as a last resort once in a while, for very specific ingredients that I just cannot find elsewhere. They do have a great selection of mushrooms, but the ones we will be using here are available at both Trader Joe’s and Target, so rest easy if you’re worried about your wallet. It is not going to take a hit with this recipe.
In fact, chances are high that you already have a bunch of these ingredients in your pantry. Butter, chili flakes, noodles, etc. And again, if you are vegan, don’t worry because there is just one easy substitution for you to make, and I will include it below! This recipe is another one of my “whip up in 15 minutes” types. So there really is no excuse not to try this out! You do not want to miss out on this one.
So let’s get started!
Ingredients (for 2 servings)
- 8 oz uncooked tagliatelle/fettuccine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbs butter, cold OR 1 cup flavorless oil like canola or coconut oil
- 10-15 button mushrooms, sliced
- 7-10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce (I used a plain marinara sauce)
- 2/3 pack of Trader Joe’s chicken less strips, soaked in warm water and double rinsed to get any existing flavor out.
- Chili flakes
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Parsley, to garnish
- Extra butter or oil for moisture at the end
- In a large pot, salt some water and cook the fettuccine according to instructions.
- In a large skillet melt in your butter or oil.
- Saute the garlic until fragrant.
- Add in the mushrooms and saute for around 6-7 minutes until they have reduced and become a darker color.
- Add in the soy chicken. Saute until fragrant.
- Add in your chili flakes and continue to saute.
- Add in your tomato sauce to loosen the mixture a little and mix well.
- Take your pasta directly from the salt water and mix it into the butter sauce.
- I added some extra butter here to coat the tagliatelle. Don’t be shy – if you are going to cook with butter, go all out!
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with parsley for a lovely pop of green.
I have to say, this recipe is the perfect combination of fall, warm, and comforting. Many people who eat meat say that chicken is their comfort food and when they go vegetarian or vegan they really miss the many chicken recipes. The mushroom lends a lovely earthy warm tone to the dish and totally reminds us of fall. The pasta also packs an incredible spicy punch from the pepper and chili flakes and is sure to warm you up during these winter months!
This was an absolute hit for me and I can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say!
See you soon on the Autumn 2018 series!
Janani <3 <3