The most satisfyingly quick and easy creamy vegan pasta recipe you’ll ever come across! No artificial store-bought vegan cream or cashews.
Don’t look at me like that – I KNOW you’ve been looking for an easy creamy vegan pasta recipe for FOREVER! If you’re new to vegan cooking, you’re probably already missing the convenience of using heavy cream to make a delicious, silky smooth pasta sauce. But guess what? It’s 2021 – the ear we all acknowledge that cream is gross. And THAT’S why I wrote this recipe!
Sure, there are plenty of creamy vegan pasta recipes out there, but here’s why so many of them don’t do it for me:
- They often use store-bought vegan cream alternatives. Nothing wrong with these guys (I use em all the time) but not everyone can access decent vegan cream alternatives, depending on where you’re based in the world.
- Sometimes they use a simple vegan white sauce. Again, nothing wrong with this, but the result is often very filling and rich, more like a mac and cheese sauce than a creamy sauce.
- Most call for the addition of homemade vegan cream, made from cashews. Obviously this rules out anyone with a nut allergy and also I’m doing my best to find alternatives to cashews, for various reasons.
What makes this recipe so easy?
Firstly, this recipe has minimal ingredients. The bulk of the flavour comes from onions, garlic, white wine and miso paste, which are all easy to get hold of.
Secondly, there’s no soaking of cashews or sunflower seeds for the creamy element. Nor is there the need to make a bechamel sauce (aka white sauce). The creaminess comes from blending a tin of pre-cooked cannellini beans with water, olive oil and nutritional yeast. The texture is insanely creamy even though the final recipe is low in fat and high in protein!
How is it made?
As always, the recipe is at the bottom of this page (if you’re short on time or have a superiority complex, feel free to scroll past all these helpful hints and tips). Here are the main steps in making this MEGA easy pasta.
Blend up the cannellini
To start with, let’s make our cannellini cream! It really couldn’t be simpler! It’s just a tin of cannellini beans, some water, olive oil and some nooch. Throw it all in the blender until it’s super smooth and hey presto! A cannellini cream for all your pasta sauce needs!
If you’re making a different kind of sauce and want to make it creamy (for instance, a creamy tomato sauce) you can follow this part of the recipe exactly and add the cannellini cream to that sauce instead. It’s very versatile!
Boil the pasta
I’m assuming you know how to do this – but just make sure your pasta water is nice and salted. The old saying is that your pasta water should be as salty as the mediterranean.
Once boiled, strain out your pasta but reserve the water. It’s an essential part of the sauce recipe. I like to keep my pasta from overcooking by plunging it into cold water until I’m ready to use it.
Cook the sauce
The sauce itself is deceptively simple! First fry up your onions and garlic before adding some white wine to deglaze the pan. Let the wine reduce and add some miso paste. The miso is a flavour bomb ingredient which will really wake the sauce right up, so don’t skip this bit!
Next you add the cannellini cream and stir to combine. The mixture will thicken nicely and I advise you use a splash of pasta water to loosen things up. The pasta water also contains a lot of starch which will make the sauce SUPER glossy and help it cling to the pasta.
Add the pasta
Let’s get those nuddy little tubes of pasta DRESSED shall we?? Add a good pinch of salt and ground pepper to the sauce before adding your pasta. Stir it up good to make sure it’s nicely coated.
I like to serve mine with some vegan parm, black pepper and some finely chopped parsley. A little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will also take this dish to the next level!
And it’s really as simple as that! Cannellini cream to the rescue for ALL your pasta sauce needs!
Some ideas for upgrades!
This recipe is deliberately simple to make sure that it’s accessible to as many people as possible. If you’ve tried this recipe and LOVE it, why not try these little alterations to take it to the next level:
Why not add some finely chopped wild mushrooms with your onions and garlic. You could even add a little marmite with the miso paste to beef up that umami flavour!
Some finely shredded kale will cook in no time with the white wine and will add beautiful flavour and deep green colour to this recipe! Why not use cavolo nero for an authentic italian vibe!
Add vegan bacon
Looking for a super quick carbonara style recipe? Chop up your favourite vegan bacon and add this with the onions and garlic. A dash of liquid smoke or pinch of smoked paprika will help take things to the next level!
Need some more vegan pasta recipes?!
Then you came to the right place! Why not give these bad boys a try!?
- Frying pan
- Slotted Spoon/Spider
- 400 g cannellini beans (pre-cooked, from a 400g tin – do not drain!)
- 200 ml water
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 4 tbsp olive oil (light, not extra virgin)
- 400 g pasta (I used rigatoni)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 200 ml white wine (make sure it's a vegan variety)
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- flaky salt and pepper for seasoning
- Place the whole tin of cannellini beans (including their soaking water) into a high-speed blender. Add the water, nutritional yeast and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Blend until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Once cooked, turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the pasta and plunge into a large bowl of cold water to stop it cooking. Reserve the pasta water.
- Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Bring to temperature. Add the onion and fry until softened (around 2 minutes) stirring often with a spatula. Add the garlic and fry for a minute more. Before the garlic can brown, add the wine and bring it to a simmer. Allow to simmer for around 3-5 minutes or until nicely reduced.
- Add the miso paste and use the spatula to break it up and mix in thoroughly. Once mixed, pour the creamy cannellini bean mixture into the frying pan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and a liberal amount of ground black pepper.
- Allow the mixture to reduce gently for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is thick, take 110ml of the pasta water and add to the sauce. Mix well and allow to simmer for a further few minutes until glossy and creamy.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce in the frying pan. While still on the heat, stir to coat well before serving. Top with more black pepper, your favourite vegan cheese or some fresh, finely chopped parsley.