TGIF! I’m not feeling quite ready to write about the second half of my vacation this morning, so instead, I’m going to share a new recipe that I tried out last night for Linguine with Clam-Free Sauce.
Back in December, Vegetarian Times magazine turned to the authors of the VT staff’s Top 5 cookbooks, and asked each author to recommend one quick-and-easy meal from their entire recipe collection. The Linguine with Clam-Free Sauce recipe is courtesy of Mark Reinfeld’s “The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe”. Here, he revamps a classic Italian recipe, replacing clams with a combination of shitake mushrooms and arame.
Arame, is a sea vegetable, as are hijiki, kombu and wakame. Sea Vegetables bring a rounded “salty, sea like” flavor to food, which comes from a balanced combination of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. Arame and Wakame are very mild flavored sea vegetables, making them good choices for those of us who are new to this plant food. Fresh Arame is the ingredient used in the seaweed salad that you might enjoy at sushi restaurants. Hijiki is more full flavored and requires lengthier cooking times. Kombu is an excellent alternative to MSG, used as a flavor enhancer in broths, beans and stocks, because it contains natural glutamic acid. Sea Vegetables can be found in the Asian food aisle of supermarkets, and the bulk food section at Whole Foods. Arame is available locally at Fruit Bowl.
My personal experience with Clam Sauce is from a can, and I didn’t like it. Growing up in Ohio, fish and seafood were not part of my mom’s cooking repertoire. I didn’t really even develop a liking for it when I attended cooking school. And by the time that I got to the Virgin Islands, I was already a vegetarian. On the other hand, my boyfriend Spencer still considers himself a pescetarian, although he very rarely eats seafood. Sometimes I think he says it just to get a rise out of me.
So when I ran across the recipe last December, I pulled it for Spencer, and because I wanted to experiment with sea vegetables myself. We both give this recipe a BIG thumbs up. Creamy, garlicy, sea-salty, yet healthy and delicious … A definite keeper!
And if this recipe is representative of the rest of the recipes in Mark Reinfeld’s “The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe”, I’m going to grab a copy and I’ve just added it to my Amazon Store (click here).
The original recipe calls for 3 cups of shitake mushrooms. But since shitakes are ridiculously expensive down here, I used 2 cups shitake caps and 1 cup of cremini caps (baby bella’s). I think any combo of mushrooms would work, but shitakes have that perfect al dente bite, similar to what I remember clams having. And if you simply can’t stand the thought of a mushroom, I’d imagine this recipe would work equally well with diced, pan fried tofu, or vegan “abalone”, a seitan product which I’ve seen in a can.
Also, the original recipe calls for 12 ounces of linguini. I cooked up a whole 16 ounce box, and probably only used 10 ounces with the sauce. The recipe says it makes enough for 4 servings, but it barely gave me any leftovers, the only downside 😉
So if giving up seafood was the most difficult part of going vegan for you …. Give this recipe a shot. I hold no doubt it’ll cure that craving …
- 10-12 ounces uncooked linguine
- 2 tablespoons arame , (soaked in ½ cup hot water)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms (or wild blend), stemmed and sliced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- add the soaked arame w/ liquid
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened soy milk
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 4 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped
- 4 teaspoons pine nuts
- Get arame soaking in ½ cup hot water, and bring pasta water to a boil.
- Cook pasta in salted, boiling water according to package directions. Drain.
- While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms, and sauté 2-3 minutes until they begin to brown. Add wine and lemon juice and continue to sauté for 3 minutes until sauce reduces.
- Add arame with soaking liquid, soy milk, nutritional yeast, Earth Balance, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Divide linguine among plates; top with sauce; garnish with parsley and pine nuts.