This was a first for me! While working on the menu for an upcoming yoga retreat (which I am catering), I was told the meals not only needed to be vegetarian but that one participant doesn’t eat cheese! Bottom line, I had to come up with a substitute for parmesan which is featured in one of my favorite dishes on the menu! After finding a highly rated recipe for a vegan parmesan substitute, I wanted to see how well it performed so I put it to the test! Basically I pulled out all the stops and used all my tricks to create my favorite “parmesan cream sauce”. The final product included fresh black pepper and parsley which I usually add, but it’s the added lemon zest that really brought it home! I think you’ll agree (even if your not a vegan like me) that this is a really tasty dish and that the real parmesan isn’t missed!!! Check it out!!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 tbsp (heaping) of flour
- 3/4 cup white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
- 1 1/4 cup mushroom stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp vegan parmesan (recipe below) plus additional as garnish
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 3/4 lb cooked rice pasta (spaghetti style)
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- In an enamel coated cast iron saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and and cook for 3 – 4 minutes allowing it to soften and begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add the flour and mix to form a paste. Slowly add the wine and whisk to incorporate. Allow mixture to cook and alcohol to burn off for 2 – 3 minutes. Mixture will begin to thicken.
- Slowly whisk in the mushroom stock. Once added, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue to stir. Add the peas and heat until peas are cooked through, approximately 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add 2 tbsp vegan parmesan* and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the cooked pasta (reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water) in the saucepan with the sauce, adding reserved pasta water if needed to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
- Serve immediately (family style is fun!) with fresh chopped parsley and lemon zest.
In a food processor or coffee grinder, pulse 2/3 cup unsalted cashews, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes approximately 3/4 cup.
*Recipe for Vegan Parmesan is from karissasvegankitchen.com