Friday, January 2, 2015

Goddess Pasta

I literally dreamed this one up.....dreamt of caramelized onions and shiitake "bacon" coming together over pasta. Caramelizing onions and oven roasting shiitake mushrooms are my two new favorite ways to develop deep umami flavors. They are just so good and totally worth the effort. Eating rich delicious foods that are also healthy, makes me feel like a vegan goddess ;-) and who doesn't want that?

Goddess Pasta

1/2 medium onion
2 tbsp olive oil

4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
scant 1/2 tsp salt

clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup water
6 cups fresh spinach
1 cup frozen green peas
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup hemp seeds

8 oz whole wheat elbow pasta


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start caramelizing your onions:
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium low. Slice the onion into 1/8 inch thick slices, and put them in the frying pan and let them cook slowly for about 45 minutes. Stir them occasionally, but mostly be patient and let them turn a deep golden brown. This effort is totally worth the deep flavor they will develop. Also, you can check out this information on caramelizing onions correctly. It has some very helpful points.

Make some shiitake "bacon":
While the onions are going, wipe your shiitakes clean with a damp paper towel and cut off any tough stems. Then slice the mushrooms into thick strips and drizzle them with the olive oil. Sprinkle with scant 1/2 tsp salt and put them on a baking sheet. Bake them in the 350 degree oven and stir every ten minutes or so. They are done when they have crisped up. This takes about 45 minutes, or so. Start tasting them after 40 minutes and take them out when you like the texture.

Start your pasta and your sauce:
When the onions are done caramelizing, start the water for your pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Take the caramelized onions out of the frying pan and reserve them, I like to add a pinch of salt to season them and give them a toss. Then, to the pan, add the chopped garlic and let it cook for a minute. Then add the tsp of dried basil and stir to distribute. Next, deglaze the pan with the water and add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt, and then add the peas (rinse them first in warm water and drain). Add the black pepper, salt and the hemp seeds. Sometimes I like to take half of the sauce and blend it, and sometimes I go chunky. Either way it is so good. When I blend it, I put half the spinach and pea mixture in a blender with some of the water used to cook the pasta. Then I return that to the pan. Otherwise I just toss it all with the pasta and enjoy.

Serve the pasta with some caramelized onions and shiitake bacon on top.

For 6 servings. Nutritional information from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 143 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 60%Vitamin C 33%
Calcium 5%Iron 14%
Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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