Sunday, October 21, 2012
Vegan Scallops in a White Wine Cream Sauce over Pasta
About 10 years ago, I would occasionally go to an Italian chain restaurant for dinner near my house in South Carolina. I would get the same thing every time I went: bow tie pasta drenched in cream and butter and topped with tons of salmon lox, capers and freshly grated Romano cheese. Although it was kind of fantastic at the time, I can't imagine consuming those ingredients any more. Last night, I randomly recalled this dish and decided to whip up something similar, but decided to use sliced king oyster stems in place of the salmon and a bit of coconut cream to replicate the richness and creaminess of the sauce. This was a cinch to throw together in about 45 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight dinner. It is pretty, simple, smells amazing and tastes heavenly.
2 cups bow tie pasta
2 TB Earth Balance, divided
4-5 shallots, minced (about one cup)
a few pinches of salt
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1 TB canned coconut milk (skim the cream off the top of the can)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
1 TB fresh lemon zest, divided
4-5 king oyster mushroom stems, sliced and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes to an hour
1-2 TB capers
fresh cracked pepper
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, then add some olive oil and salt and cook pasta according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce. Melt one tablespoon of Earth Balance in a skillet over medium heat, then add in the minced shallot and sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, then stir to coat and saute for about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes more. Increase the heat to high. After about a minute, pour in the wine white and allow to sizzle for about 30 seconds. Dial the heat back to medium, then add in the broth. Allow to simmer and reduce for a few minutes. Add in the coconut cream and stir to combine, then add in half of the fresh parsley and half of the lemon zest.
By this time, your pasta should be done. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, drain and transfer the cooked pasta straight from the pot by spoonfuls into the sauce. Stir to combine. Let simmer under the lowest heat possible while you prepare your scallops.
In a separate skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of Earth Balance over medium heat. Remove the mushrooms from the water (no need to dry them), then add them to the skillet and cover. Allow them soften for about 7 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the liquid to evaporate. As it does, the mushrooms will develop a slight caramelized color. Once that golden color is achieved on both sides, remove them from the heat. Add them to the skillet with the pasta and sauce, and toss to coat.
Transfer the pasta to serving bowls and sprinkle with the leftover fresh parsley, lemon zest and capers. Sprinkle with a little fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately.