This recipe is a veganized version of one of my favorite dishes growing up that my stepmom used to make. The original recipe was a simple pasta dish combined with cubed smoked gouda, basil, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. This version of the recipe of course swaps out the cheese for a vegan alternative, and also adds a few ingredients (but it’s also great without these additions!)
I was making the original version of this dish one day (with vegan cheese), but decided I wanted a higher protein content dish, so I decided to add seitan. Now I don’t think I would want to make it without that addition! You can either make your own seitan at home which I hear is easy and very cheap to make– or, if you’re on the lazier side like I am, you can also use store-bought seitan for around $3-$4 a package. I used Upton’s Naturals brand in Italian flavor, but I also recommend Yves brand.
Campanelle pasta (or your preferred pasta)
Shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (or your preferred mushroom)
Vegan smoked gouda**
**I prefer Follow Your Heart brand smoked gouda, but I also recommend Daiya smoked gouda, or if you can find another brand of smoked gouda, be sure to share!
(I bet this would also be amazing with Miyoko’s smoked mozzarella, but that’s on the pricier side, and a little bit harder to find.)
Sauté mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned. Use a large pan- you will be adding more ingredients later.
While the mushrooms are cooking, begin to boil water in a large pot for your pasta. Don’t forget to add salt to the water if desired!
Cut the all of the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.
Once the mushrooms are lightly browned, crumble your seitan and add it to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the seitan can be cooked on both sides. If needed, add more oil. If you accidentally put too much, not a big deal, because olive oil will also be used to coat the pasta at the end!
Cut your vegan smoked gouda into cubes. I use Follow Your Heart brand, which I’ve only found in the store as deli slices, but I just treat the whole stack of slices as if it’s a large block and cut that into about 1cm cubes. (These cubes stay intact more or less).
When the pasta is done cooking, strain it, and IMMEDAITELY return it to the pot and mix in the cubed gouda. You want to add the cubes to the pasta while it is still hot so that they melt a bit into the pasta (they don’t need to melt completely, just soften a bit). Combine evenly.
Just before turning off the heat on your pan with the mushrooms and seitan, add in your sliced cherry tomatoes. The goal is to just warm them a bit, not to cook them.
Turn off the heat.
Shred your fresh basil on top of the pan while it’s still warm. You can chop up the basil, but I just use my hands to tear it evenly, roughly 3 cm in length. Stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.
Now, just combine everything into a large dish (the pot is fine if it’s big enough, or just use a large bowl). Stir to evenly combine.
Lastly, add olive oil and balsamic to taste, and stir. You can always add more balsamic after serving to individual taste.
Serve this dish hot- but it’s also quite good cold the next day if you’re feeling too lazy to heat it up!