Winter Pasta Salad – Simple winter pasta salad made with portobello mushrooms, baby kale, anelli pasta & vegan creme fraiche. Make in under 1 hour and the perfect weeknight meal
Just when I thought I knew every pasta types in existence, I found a pasta type that I didn’t know existed. My word fro them became “cheerios pasta” until I was educated on its correct name.
Anelli pasta is their correct name which means “small rings” when translated from Italian. Personally, I still prefer calling it cheerios pasta. From what I have read about this pasta recently, it is very popular in kid chicken soup recipes. For my purposes, I figured I would try to put it into a pasta recipe and see how it turns out.
This turned out to be a very hearty and delicious recipe!
The inspiration for this winter pasta recipe came from Jamie Oliver. Ever since I can remember, I have had a thing for him. His cooking style and passion have always inspired me to cook better.
So, when I saw him post this winter pasta recipe, I really wanted to make a vegan version of his pasta recipe. To keep it as close to his recipe as I could, I experimented and came up with a delicious vegan creme fraiche version. The major difference in our ingredients is that he uses short pasta in his recipe and I chose to go with the anelli pasta.
The mushrooms make add a nice heartiness to this meal. I roasted them in the oven because it really brings out the flavors. The baby kale and Brussels sprouts are my favorite in this salad. Although, I have to admit that I forgot to cut of the stems of baby kale.
You live and learn, right?
This winter pasta salad was a huge hit on pasta night at my house. Vegan pasta dinners are usually very well received, but, there was just something fun about this pasta. I think the shape of the anelli pasta might have something to do with it.
If you want to experiment with other pastas, try short pastas like tortolle pasta or Campanella pasta. They are both hearty pastas and bring a little fun to any dinner. If you can’t find either, there is always fusili pasta. It will bring the same flavors and texture of tortolle pasta
So, what is your favorite pasta shape?
Winter Pasta Salad Recipe
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove stems and gills from 2 portobello mushrooms. Make sure you wash and dry them thoroughly before basting it.
2) In a small bowl, add 2 Tbsp of oil, 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of oregano. Mix well and baste the mushrooms with this oil mixture. Place mushrooms on baking tray and into the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, remove and flip them. Baste again and put them back into the oven for another 20 minutes.
3) While mushrooms are in the oven, boil 4 cups of water. Add 1/4 tsp of olive oil and 1.5 cups of uncooked anelli pasta
4) Chop 2 cups of Brussels sprouts and cut stems of 2 cups of baby kale. Cut 1/4 of an onion and 1 clove of garlic into thin, long strips
5) In a medium pan, add 2 tsp of oil. Set heat to medium and add 1 tsp of cumin seeds + garlic
6) Saute for 40 seconds, then add the onions. After onions caramelize, add chopped Brussels sprouts, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of oregano. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are tender.
7) Add the baby kale and set the heat to low. When the kale is half its original size, mix well and add the anelli pasta (cooked and 95% drained). I like to keep some of the pasta water because it prevents the pasta from drying. Mix well and set the heat to low
8) When mushrooms are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before cutting them into long strips
9) Add them to the pasta and top with 1/4 cup of vegan creme fraiche
Mix well and serve immediately