Food + Drink

Chronicle Kitchen: Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettuccine with Walnuts

Robin Asbell has graciously provided a guest post for us again this week (we love to ask her, because we flat-out adore her recipes!).

What’s your take on going vegan? Are you hardcore, or have you made a point of incorporating less meat and dairy into your diet? Try out this recipe and let us know what you think. Happy vegan eating!

Big Vegan launched in October and, since then, I’ve had plentiful opportunities to meet people at book signings, cooking classes, and events. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement, with packed classes and platters full of samples devoured by a hungry public. I’ve learned a great deal in these past four months, and had fun doing it. Veganism is definitely on the move.

One of the most positive trends that I am seeing is the awareness of veganism, and a growing positive attitude. While many of the shoppers who stop for a taste may feel that they are never going to commit all the way, they do eat vegan as part of their varied diets. It’s been extremely gratifying to see how much people like the dishes we make from Big Vegan, just because they taste good. And from talking to them, I’m finding that it’s not so unusual to have meatless meals, even among meat-lovers. Vegan is creeping into the mainstream, and is seen as a really healthy alternative.

This anecdotal evidence is borne out by the latest survey from the Vegetarian Resource Group, which found that 2.5% of Americans are Vegan, 5% are vegetarian, and about a third eat meatless often. The numbers of vegans have never been estimated at above a percent before, so that is a big change. But the interesting thing is that there are so many more people eating vegan some of the time.

So if you are one of the people who want to try eating more plants, but not commit to anything, Big Vegan is for you. All the recipes were tested and approved by an assortment of omnivores. Join the Meatless Monday movement and go vegan once a week.

One example of a meat-lover friendly dish is my recipe for Triple Mushroom Creamy Fettucine with Walnuts. It’s a dish I put together to show how you can use plant-based foods to create a real sense of meatiness. The Japanese call it Umami, we call it the fifth taste, and it comes from an assortment of amino acids and chemicals that are high in meat, but also in certain plants. Dried and fresh mushrooms, tomato paste, wine, nutritional yeast, and seitan all contribute extra umami to this dish.

I hope you will give it a try. Eat more plants, whatever your diet style, and you will feel great!

Vegan mushroom fettuccini recipe from Big Vegan

Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettuccine with Walnuts

This pasta is an opportunity to amplify and showcase the umami of mushrooms, with layer after layer of intense mushroom flavor. For the fungus lovers among us, this creamy, meaty pasta is a plateful of heaven.

Serves 4

2 small dried mushrooms (any variety)
2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose/plain flour
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz/225 g seitan, thinly sliced
3 oz/75 g fresh shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups/360 ml plain soymilk or other milk
1/4 cup/60 ml white wine
1 tbsp tomato paste/tomato puree
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp white miso
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch ground turmeric
1/2 cup/15 g fresh parsley or basil
1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil spray
8 oz/225 g fresh portobello caps, thinly sliced
8 oz/225 g dried fettuccine
1/4 cup/30 g chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the dried mushrooms to a fine powder. Put them in a small bowl and stir in the flour. Reserve.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the seitan and shiitakes and stir until browned, then add the garlic. When the vegetables starts to sizzle, sprinkle them with the flour mixture and stir to combine. Keep stirring and scraping until the flour is well moistened and the mushroom powder is very fragrant.

3. As the mushroom-seitan mixture cooks, whisk together the soymilk, wine, tomato paste/puree, yeast, miso, nutmeg, cayenne, and turmeric in a measuring cup. Remove the pan from the heat and use a heat-safe spatula to stir in about one fourth of the soymilk mixture until smooth. Continue to add the soymilk mixture in fourths, stirring after each addition until all is incorporated. Stir in the parsley and salt and keep warm.

4. Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, spray it with oil and sear the portobello mushroom slices, stirring as they shrink and brown. Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions and drain well.

5. In a serving bowl, toss the pasta with the hot sauce. Top with the seared mushrooms, sprinkle with the toasted walnuts, and serve.

You can find Big Vegan here.



  • slampkin718 February 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I don't consider myself a vegan but I've been eating less and less meat over the past two years. I would love to learn more and try some of these recipes!


  • Marika February 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Sounds delicious! My boyfriend and I have been cooking two vegan dinners a week in an attempt to eat more vegetables and expand our repertoire of recipes. I'll have to watch out for this one!


  • Jenny February 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Our family–me, my husband, and two young sons–went vegan late last year (I've been a vegetarian for 17 years, my two boys have been all their lives). We've been surprised at how easy it's been! The one think we can't resolve is "milk." My 7-year-old and I don't like soy milk alone or in cooking, and I can't seem to find a good alternative. We've tried almond, rice, and even coconut–in fact they're all in the fridge right now! We've been enjoying the journey though, so we'll keep experimenting–including trying the recipe above with homemade seitan. Sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing!


  • Amanda February 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    It would be hard for to go vegan, but there are many days that I go vegetarian. I have discovered the heartiness of legumes and rich leafy greens that makes me feel so great. And with great recipes out there like the one above, it sure makes things easier!


  • Lee February 16, 2012 at 5:00 am

    My husband and I are eating much less meat than we did a year ago. We've started having meat-free Mondays and Im always itching to find new vegan recipes to try! The Mushroom fettucine recipe sounds marvelous!!!


  • Kelly February 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I would love to go vegan, but it is hard when you live with, and cook for, people who would not be interested in most vegan dishes. Could I be sneaky and cut out animal proteins and substitute more veggies and grains?


  • katrina February 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    we've been combining our faith with eating less meat and have gone to meatless fridays all year round; and looking back at it, it seems those fridays have become almost completely vegan. if i could just let go of the cream in my coffee, we'd be there.


  • Donna Earnhardt February 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I am a fungi fiend! This dish sounds and looks delicious! I think I might replace the walnuts with pecans, though. I have to try this next week!


  • DEH47 February 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    My doctor said that I should go vegan because of the potential for heart disease. As a result my family has gone mostly vegan with me. This recipe looks great!


  • lily February 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    We are mostly meat free and sometimes dairy free – but I cook vegan meals often, and love to find more recipes my family and I love! This book looks great!


  • Jeanette Boruszewski February 22, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Started the New Year with a healthier eating plan and when we eat better I always go vegen and we love the food so much. I'm always looking for something new to wow my family.


  • Stephanie February 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

    My sweetheart is a vegan and I've been enjoying discovering the whole new world of meatless cooking. This recipe is on my list for Friday night! Thank you! It looks DELICIOUS!


  • Renata February 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

    My husband and I did the vegan thing for 43 days was a personal challenge after watching the Oprah show. We did great and I consider myself veganish..we don't eat butter, cheese, cream, milk,red meat or eggs. And only now and then a bit of chicken, and fish.So we haven't gone fully to the other side yet..but slowly we are getting there.
    So whenever I see a new recipe that looks great, i usually try it. I will have to check your book out.


  • pet food February 26, 2012 at 6:57 am

    There is nothing to be vegan. It is much healthier than other foods. This is less cholesterol that good for the heart. I t is advisable also for those who have illnesses like high blood and diabetic. We better teach our children at young age to eat veggies.


  • Harriet Mchugh March 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Tried this last night and loved it but instead of using dried fettuccini I used gluten free fresh fettuccini. I am not a vegetarian or vegan but if all the food tasted like this I would happily become one. Can't wait to try out more recipes from this website.


  • Jessica August 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    That looks so tasty, especially now that mushrooms are coming into season, will have to try it out!


  • Manna Whole Foods September 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    This creamy triple mushroom fettuccine with walnuts makes me salivate. It's been already a year since I'm shifting from vegetarian to vegan and finding a good recipe for vegan like me is quite hard. This recipe will be added to my list. Thanks for sharing.


  • SherryZ October 25, 2013 at 10:52 am

    It would be soooooo nice if the chefs would include the nutritional info with these recipes.


  • thestylistquo November 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know I featured this dish on my daily dinner ideas blog, What to Make for Dinner Tonight. Come check 'er out!


  • Tess February 12, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Doesn't dried fettucine have eggs?


  • My Dairy Free Diet June 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Looks like a great recipe…I look forward to making it!


  • Sara @ DFAM November 29, 2014 at 2:11 am

    This is right up my street – mushrooms are my favourite food ever! A quick question: I've never used nutritional yeast but I keep seeing in a lot on vegetarian/vegan blogs – am I missing something?


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