My junior year of undergraduate college, I met a friend for life, who made me this lemon basil pasta a few years back when I visited New York. This is his recipe that I converted into a plant-based recipe by taking out the cheese. I also took out the optional red pepper flakes from this recipe.
ABOUT MUSHROOOMS: Now, everyone I made this pasta for loved it! Initially, I only made it with portabella mushrooms, but for a time, I totally removed all mushrooms from my diet, but then I searched the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy for any mention of them and they are not there. Therefore, it is your decision whether you choose to eat mushrooms or not. In true disclosure, I did not grow up eating mushrooms, but incorporated them into my diet later on in life. So, once I started using them, I liked the earthy taste and bulky texture they gave many of my dishes. Mushrooms can easily be substituted with roasted eggplant, which is very versatile and is a king among vegetables, or tofu, but eggplant is generally the cheaper choice.
Now, you ask, “What’s wrong with mushrooms?” Well, the short answer is they are generated from spores, and not from seeds. If one adheres to the letter of God’s command in Genesis 1:29 KJV, where God specified that we eat foods derived from seeds, then mushrooms will not fit (Note that plant-based staples like bread yeasts, Spirulina, agar, and any sea algae would also fit this category of having no seed). I pray to be a balanced person, so I aim to err on the side of liberty. With that said, I am not a mushroom specialist, so if I were out in nature, I can tell you that I would not eat mushrooms. My main reason is because it is widely known that there are also poisonous mushrooms (Read this article from Livestrong.com on mushrooms). Mushrooms do have an array of nutritional benefits (Read this article from Harvard). However, mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll, which is found in all plant life and is essential for our bodies at the minutest levels. For more information, please read this article on Fungi. Therefore, it is your choice! If there is not a “Thus saith the Lord” on a subject, then the choice is really up to you. My only aim is to give you the facts.
Now, before I get to the recipe, I want to say, that I am not the pasta police, though some are because of how pasta is processed and the toxic chemicals used in growing conventional wheat. My motto has always been “As long as it is plant-based, do what is within your budget with PRAYER for God’s blessing!” There are a variety of considerations: budget, quality, and bodily agreement with various foods. For me, I especially cannot stomach the conventional whole wheat pasta, but I love organic spelt pasta, which is more expensive and not always within my budget. I have no idea why whole wheat pasta doesn’t agree with me; and I am yet looking into it. I am able to eat organic whole wheat ramen noodles without a problem. I have found an edamame and mung bean pasta (fettuccine) that I have used with this recipe, but it also pricey. Now, some of you may not like that; so, simply use that best brand of regular pasta you can afford with prayer.
Now, with that said, I hope you enjoy this recipe! …
Fresh Lemon Basil Pasta (Delicious and Plant-based)
- 1 package spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine noodles (type and brand of choice)
- 1 large white onions, thinly sliced (I prefer Vidalia)
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 lemons, freshly juiced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bunches (about 24 leaves) basil, roughly chopped
- 3 cups of cherry tomatoes (or roma tomatoes, diced)
- 2 cups eggplant wedges
- 1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon of pink or sea salt (more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Monk’s/papaya pepper (more to taste)
- extra virgin olive oil for sauteing and drizzle on noodles
- If using eggplant instead of mushrooms, preheat oven to 425 °F . Cut eggplant in thin wedges to resemble mushrooms. Coat with oil and a dash of liquid aminos. Spread out on baking sheet covered with parchment. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve 3/4 cups of pasta water. Return drained pasta to the large pot and add nutritional yeast and lemon juice to pasta, along with olive oil and salt. Cover pasta and set aside.
- In a large sauté/frying pan, add olive oil and sliced onions and sauté over medium-high heat. Sauté for 4-8 depending upon desired level of firmness. Add the garlic, and gently sauté for about one minute for garlic to add flavor (being careful to not let burn). Lightly salt and add onions and garlic to drained pasta. Add basil on top of onions and garlic.
- If using mushrooms, add mushrooms with a splash of liquid aminos to frying pan and sauté over medium-high heat for five minutes in same pan over medium-high. Add this to the pasta.
- In a smaller pan, bring water to a boil and add cherry tomatoes and boil for one minute. Immediately transfer tomatoes into ice water bath. Peel the skins off. Chop each in half if desired. Add to the sautéed garlic and onions pan along with mushrooms/eggplant. Lightly salt for taste. Then, toss with pasta.
- Add reserved pasta water little by little until pasta is well coated, and a nice consistency is reached (I used a little more than 1/2 a cup). Gently toss to coat evenly. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Season more to taste if desired. Add more lemon juice if needed to taste. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, but the longer this dish sits the better the flavors mesh together (I especially love this pasta after about 4 hours, and it’s even better the next day! Just heat it up!). Serve and enjoy!
Note: Follow my “simple.preparations” Instagram page if you want to see this process in photos.