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Max La Manna’s Mushroom and Cashew Fettuccine

In this exclusive recipe for The Happy Foodie, Max La Manna creates an extra creamy vegan mushroom pasta using silken tofu in place of dairy.


Comforting and creamy, silken tofu makes for the silkiest sauce in town. I’ve always thought that making sauces that feel as creamy as their dairy alternatives can be a bit of a challenge, but this technique is flawless. I find soaking cashews overnight gets the best results, but I love this trick of covering them with boiling water- it’s such a great option if you need them sooner rather than later. Once you’ve got this sauce down, it can also be used with so many pasta recipes- add some vegan cheese and use it for mac and cheese, use it to make a carbonara with plant-based ‘bacon’ or use it to make a summery creamy pasta salad. I use vegan fettuccine here because it’s my favourite pasta shape out there, but if you can’t find vegan fettuccine, use tagliatelle or spaghetti instead. The key with the pasta is using tongs to slosh it straight from the water into the sauce, taking a little of that starchy sauce with it to ensure the sauce clings to the pasta. Once you start doing this rather than draining your pasta, you’ll never go back!

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For the sauce:
50g cashews
1 block silken tofu
3 tbsp oat milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
For the pasta
400g mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
75ml white wine
350g dried Fettuccine
Handful tarragon, finely chopped
vegan parmesan, to serve
Pinch turmeric
1 tbsp miso paste

Essential kit

You will need: a high-speed blender.

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Cover the cashews in boiling water and set aside for 45 mins to soften. Drain and blitz in a high-speed blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Taste and season, adding more nutritional yeast to taste.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the olive oil to your largest frying pan over a high heat. Once it’s really hot, add your mushrooms with a big pinch of salt, fry for 5 mins, until they’ve released all their water and they’re soft, then grate in the garlic along with the thyme leaves and stir well. Add the white wine and bubble until it’s reduced by half. Pour in the cashew sauce. Drop the fettuccine into the boiling water and cook for a minute less than the packet instructions.

Use tongs to slosh the pasta from the water into the sauce and toss well. Add the chopped tarragon, season well. Spoon into bowls and grate the vegan parmesan over the top. Finish with a crack of black pepper, and a few extra tarragon leaves if you like.

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