Saturday, September 22, 2012

Creamy Noodles with Spinach and Green Peas

Sometimes recipes don't turn out as planned.  Yes, that can be a bad (burnt, crumbly, bland) thing, but in some cases it turns out to be a wonderful thing!  Last week we set out to make fettuccine Alfredo and ended up with a pasta dish that tasted nothing like the classic comfort food.  Instead, we ended up with a creamy, fresh, slightly sweet pasta dish that I'll definitely make again: Creamy Noodles with Spinach and Green Peas.

I love the two different shades of green from the peas and spinach.
Creamy Noodles with Spinach and Green Peas
  • 1 pound whole wheat fettuccine
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 - 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (or another vegan cream cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 - 10 ounce package frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen peas

First, cook the fettuccine according to package directions. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the corn in a food processor and process until well-blended.  Add the coconut milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and nutritional yeast and process until combined.  Set aside.

Then heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion once the butter melts.  Sauté the onion for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then lower the heat to medium-low, add the cream cheese, and allow the cream cheese to melt, stirring occasionally. 

Next, add the corn mixture, nutmeg, and frozen vegetables to the pot and heat until just boiling.  Use a wooden spoon to separate the spinach as it cooks. 

Once the sauce is hot, toss with the pasta, salt to taste, and serve hot. Yields 6 servings.

This pasta dish has a pretty unique flavor and texture.  The onions and blended corn add a bit of a crunch to the generally creamy dish, while the sweet, earthy flavor of the corn is noticeable but not overpowering.  Some dishes made with nutritional yeast can have a very particular (some say unappealing) aftertaste, but that's not the case with this one.   
While vegan cream cheese is now pretty easy to find in most grocery stores, nutritional yeast hasn't quite hit the mainstream.  We had to go to Whole Foods to get it--on the plus side, it's REALLY inexpensive (we bought about 1/2 cup for less than $1). 
 Ease of Preparation:         
This is a pretty quick recipe to make, and if you time it right, the noodles will be done cooking just as it's time to toss them with the sauce. 
Non-vegan friendliness:        
This is a tasty dish, but Simon noted that the taste didn't match his expectations based on the dish's appearance.  In other words, the dish looks like a cheesy-flavored dish, but that's not what it tastes like. 

1 comment:

  1. Coconut milk! Who'da thunk it...looks tasty. Maybe adding tahini and a little acid, say, lemon juice, would give it the cheezy tang?