For a quick and delicious vegan dinner, why not try this creamy pasta sauce -made vegan with Violife!
In association with Violife
Like many people, you may be trying to cut down on the amount of meat in your diet. This could be for a number of reasons, either ethical or environmental, or just because you feel that you don’t want to eat meat every day. Or you might be thinking about going vegan, but not quite ready to take that step just yet.
I have flirted with a meat-free diet on occasions, and generally I try to have a couple of meat-free days each week. It’s definitely easier now than when I first tried going vegetarian as a teenager. Back then, the only veggie options in the village where I grew up were nut roast mixes from the health food shop or a dodgy frozen vegetable lasagne – I’m not sure that there were any vegan options at all!
But now there are loads of lovely vegetarian and vegan alternatives that you can easily buy in your local supermarket, like the Violife range. This range of dairy-free, vegan cheeses and spreads makes it easy to replace the dairy produce in your diet, whether you’re looking for melting topper for your burger, a creamy chilli-flecked spread for your toast or even a vegan-friendly alternative to grate over your pasta.
Exploring the Violife vegan alternatives
To test the Violife range, I decided to try out one of my usual recipes with a vegan twist. This recipe is based on one that I must have cooked a hundred times for my family over the years. So I made my Creamy Mushroom pasta sauce with Violife Creamy as the base of the sauce and Violife Grated to add body and a more cheesy flavour.
I was interested to see what would happen if I replaced the standard cheese with a vegan cheese – would the sauce still be as smooth and creamy?
I was surprised to find that the Violife vegan cheeses worked really well in my pasta sauce. The consistency was not quite the same – you don’t get the same oozy gooiness, but the sauce was rich, creamy and it tasted really good!
As well as being great for vegans or people following a dairy-free diet, this dish would also be fantastic for Veganuary, Meat-Free Monday or just for those who are cutting down on meat.
I’ll definitely be trying out some more vegan recipes after this success!
A quick and delicious creamy sauce for pasta that uses vegan cheese alternatives
- 360 g Spaghetti or other pasta
- 1 tbsp oil (olive, rapeseed or sunflower)
- 1 small onion or large shallot peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 300 g chestnut mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 100 ml dry white wine or water
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp thyme leaves or 1 tsp of dried thyme
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 200 g Violife Creamy Original
- 100 g Violife Grated Original
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped parsley to serve optional
First put the pasta on to cook in a large pan of boiling salted water, according to packet instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, put the oil into a wide-based saucepan or large skillet and add the onions. Cook the onions for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until they just start to soften.
Then add the garlic and sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes over a medium heat. It may look like you need to add more oil but if you keep stirring, the mushrooms will eventually release their juices.
Once the mushrooms are have softened, stir in the flour and mustard. Cook for a minute or so, and then stir in the water to make a thin sauce.
Add the Violife Creamy Original, thyme and lemon zest (if using) to the pan and stir until you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper and then simmer for another 2-3 minutes to thicken.
Your pasta should be ready around now, so drain it and return it to the pan.
When the sauce has started to thicken, add the Violife Grated Original and stir into the sauce until it has melted. Add the lemon juice to taste – you might not need it all – check the seasoning then then tip the pasta into the sauce and stir together until well combined.
Sprinkle chopped parsley over your creamy mushroom pasta and serve with a salad or some vegan friendly garlic bread alongside.