One of the things I love in theory about Mark Bittman’s pasta recipes in the New York Times is that they’re super-simple and yet they also use unique combinations of ingredients that make the dish creative and unexpected. Unfortunately, they also rely heavily on dairy – cream, butter, and cheese.
The good thing is that there are vegan alternatives to every dairy product. So when my mom told that she was making this recipe for she and my dad (they’re not vegan), I thought I bet I can make a veganized version of this that’s even tastier!
The recipe is essentially spaghetti, butter, cream, and arugula with parmesan on top. In lieu of butter, I used Earth Balance and extra virgin olive oil; instead of cream, I subbed with full-fat coconut milk; and instead of parmesan, I used hemp seeds.
I’ve been experimenting with vegan versions of Mark Bittman’s pasta recipes and this one is a cut above the rest. Arugula brings a sharp, peppery taste to the dish, and the “cream” (coconut milk) gives it a rich and decadent texture. Topped with hemp seeds, which to me is just like parmesan but so much tastier, the dish becomes even more dynamic and flavorful.
What’s more, it’s one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made! It takes minimal effort – and I mean really minimal, especially if you get pre-washed arugula. You can literally combine the ingredients in under a minute, after you’ve cooked the pasta.
1 handful arugula
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 handful hemp seeds
1/2 cup culinary coconut milk (I used full-fat)
1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp Herbamare or sea salt, plus more to taste
1 8oz package gf pasta
Cook the pasta according to the instructions.
Place the arugula in a bowl and drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil on top. Gently massage into the leaves.
Once the pasta is cooked and strained, add the Earth Balance, remaining tsp olive oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, and Herbamare. Stir in the ingredients so they’re evenly dispersed.
Fold in the arugula, and stir that in as well. Top with hemp seeds.
You are now done. Enjoy!