I found kale, white button mushrooms and durum wheat penne whilst I was rummaging through my fridge and my pantry. A pasta dish seemed to be a good way to incorporate those ingredients and provide me with a seamless shift to a more plant-based diet. There are already a number of existing meatless pasta dishes out there already. Some examples are Alfredo, Pomodoro, Arrabiata and Fagioli.
I had the main ingredients but I needed an idea for the sauce. I didn’t have any tomatoes with me, so I wasn’t going to make a tomato-based sauce. The decision was down to either a cream-based or oil-based sauce. I was unsure how kale would taste in a cream-based sauce so I decided to look for existing kale pasta recipes. I found the Garlicky Mushroom and Kale with Linguine by Julie from The Simple Veganista and I have her to thank for my first plant-based meal.
Since I spontaneously searched for this recipe right before cooking, I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand. I made a few adjustments and simplified the recipe to my needs. I needed enough to eat for dinner that night and to take with me for lunch the next day.
Kale and Mushroom Penne
- 250g durum wheat penne pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 large white button mushrooms
- 2 kale leaves
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 vegetable broth cube
- black pepper
- Cook the pasta
- Using the medium heat settings on the stove, saute the chopped onions in olive oil for four minutes (I had olive oil spread instead of liquid olive oil, so I melted two tablespoons in the microwave for 30 seconds)
- Add mushrooms, garlic, thyme to the onions. Season with salt and pepper to your preference. Do this for five minutes before adding the kale.
- To liquefy the vegetable broth cube, add it to a cup of boiled water. You can use half of the cube if you prefer.
- Add the cooked pasta and vegetable broth to the mushroom and kale mixture. The dish is ready when the broth dissolves.