The other day, I was running an errand for work and picked up a spinach and feta wrap for one of my bosses. It smelled so unbelievably delicious that I vowed to myself right then and there to somehow create a version of those flavors for myself. So I got to researching, looking to use nuts as a base for the cheese rather than tofu. A few tweaks here and there and one roasted spaghetti squash later, success!
The feta is a little labor intensive, more so than nut-based cheese sauces I’ve made in the past (macaroni and alfredo) because feta is supposed to be crumbly, not smooth and creamy. Because of this, it had to be pressed and drained in order to work. It’s definitely worth the effort, because the texture is almost spot on and the flavor is packed.
Tossed with spaghetti squash (or pasta!), fresh spinach and mushrooms, and the result is a healthy and hearty take on an old favorite.
|Vegan Feta and Spinach Pasta|
- +For the Feta+:
- 1 cup walnut pieces, soaked in water for 2-3 hours
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 2 tsp miso paste
- juice of one half a lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- +For the Pasta:+
- Spaghetti Squash or Pasta of choice, cooked
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- +For the Feta:+
- After soaking the walnut pieces, add them (with the water they soaked in) and the rest of the feta ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Lay out two layers of cheesecloth on top of each other, and scoop out the cheese from the blender, placing it all onto the middle of the layered patches of cloth. Bring all the edges together and tie tightly with a piece of twine.
- Gently squeeze so any excess liquid drains immediately. Then place in a small strainer over a jar or bowl (I used a tea strainer over a mason jar and it worked wonderfully) and let sit in the fridge overnight, so that any additional liquid will drain as well.
- When ready to use, simply remove the cheesecloth and put into a small container to use as needed.
- +For the Pasta:+
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil onto a pan. Add the garlic and cook on low until the garlic begins to cook, stirring. Add the mushrooms, and cook until soft.
- Add the spinach leaves and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, just until the spinach is wilted. You may need to add a little bit of water or vegetable broth to ensure that nothing burns and the spinach steams well- just use sparingly. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta or squash with salt, pepper, and cooked vegetables. Crumble some of your new feta over it at your discretion- I recommend being liberal!
- Toss all together once more and garnish with some black pepper and more crumbled feta before serving.