Tagliatelle in Walnut-Mushroom-Tempeh Sauce

A couple of years ago I lived in a small university town that had a number of nice restaurants. One of them was an Italian one. They claimed to be the favourite restaurant of Günter Grass. The writer’s publishing house is in that town and whenever he had to travel there, he apparently visited the restaurant. They had a picture of Günter Grass and the restaurant staff next to the door. I admit, I was quite impressed when I saw this for the first time. We went to that restaurant a couple of times and although we never met Grass, we had some really nice pasta dishes there. They had the most amazing walnut filled ravioli. This dish and not Grass was the real reason why we kept going back there. I couldn’t get enough of the pasta. While eating at that restaurant I learned that walnuts and pasta make a quite addictive  flavour combination. Lazy as I am I never attempted to recreate that ravioli dish. Instead I used walnuts as a base for a creamy sauce. The result was as delicious as the ravioli I used to eat at the Italian restaurant in the university town. This may not look very great, but I swear it is mighty delicious:

Tagliatelle in Walnut-Mushroom-Tempeh Sauce (serves 2)

200 g (7 oz.) tempeh, cut into small cubes
60 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce

50 g (1/2 cup) walnut halves
120 ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened soy milk
2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil
300 g (10.7 oz.) brown button mushrooms, sliced
1 large scallion, sliced into rings
2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste
fresh basil for sprinkling

150 g (5.3 oz.) tagliatelle, cooked according to package instructions.

Combine tempeh and soy sauce in a small bowl. Toss well and set aside.

In a food processor, combine walnuts, soy milk, and garlic. Blend until creamy. You can also use an immersion blender for this. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add tempeh and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. Add mushrooms and scallion and cook for ten more minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Add paprika, thyme, and walnut mixture. Stir well. If the sauce seems to thick, add a couple of tablespoons water or soymilk. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Toss with pasta. Serve immediately and sprinkle with fresh basil.

24 Comments

  • […] On the savoury front, walnuts are beautiful in crunchy, tangy salads, and the pear, walnut combination is well-known. As well as pairing them with sweet and tangy foods, they go well with similarly earthy flavours like lentils and mushrooms. This Lentil-Walnut Salad is delicious, as is this Walnut-Mushroom-Tempeh Pasta Sauce. […]

  • […] On the savoury front, walnuts are beautiful in crunchy, tangy salads, and the pear, walnut combination is well-known. As well as pairing them with sweet and tangy foods, they go well with similarly earthy flavours like lentils and mushrooms. This Lentil-Walnut Salad is delicious, as is this Walnut-Mushroom-Tempeh Pasta Sauce. […]

  • 5 years ago

    Thank you for a delicious recipe- I very much enjoyed my dinner tonight :) I adjusted the quantities a little to suit my rather small appetite and subbed diced portobello mushrooms as that’s what I had on hand. Will definitely make this again :)

    • Mihl
      5 years ago

      Thank you! I am so glad to hear you liked it.

  • 6 years ago

    Wow, that looks fantastic! I love walnut purees and tempeh!

  • jmbtruefood
    6 years ago

    Mmmm-m-m-m-m-m! It is Meatless Monday here and perfect for trying this dish:) Danke Dir!

  • Sara
    6 years ago

    Indeed, it doesn’t look to great, but it sounds very delicious! I hope I can try it out soon (the walnuts are allready provided with a walnuttree in the backyard)

  • 6 years ago

    Oh yum, walnuts, mushrooms & pasta are three of my favourite foods & I’m trying out new ways to make myself like tempeh so I’ll definitely be making this.

  • 6 years ago

    oh my god sounds sooo delicious!!

  • That looks and sounds amazing!

  • 6 years ago

    oh my goodness, Mihl – i literally drooled reading over this recipe! your walnut-mushroom-tempeh sauce sounds (and looks) absolutely incredible! i love everything about it. totally going to make this soon – i already printed out the recipe. thank you, my friend!

  • 6 years ago

    Such a fabulous recipe! I may have to make it sans the mushrooms (or find a good sub). :)

    • 6 years ago

      You can just leave them out and add more tempeh.

  • 6 years ago

    I agree, the combo of walnuts in pasta or sauce is so awesome! Walnuts add such a nutty and distinct flavor that is so good!!!

  • 6 years ago

    Mm, sounds sort of like stroganoff, but nuttier. I like it! Gotta remember to try this next time I have tempeh on hand…

  • 6 years ago

    I agree! There is something about walnuts and pasta that is so yummy. I can’t wait to try this. I hope spring has arrived in Germany by now. Boston not quite but I’m eagerly anticipating it!

  • 6 years ago

    What a great combination of flavors! I agree, walnuts and pasta are delicious together. I am totally making this the next time I cook pasta. If you ever figure out how to make a vegan walnut ravioli, you must share the recipe!

  • 6 years ago

    I absolutely love pasta with walnut sauce! My favorite is this recipe: http://www.manifestvegan.com/2010/08/walnut-sage-fettuccine/ but I also enjoyed my own olive oil/rosemary/garlic/walnut sauce in my portabella mushroom lasagna

  • 6 years ago

    What a beautiful walnut sauce!

  • 6 years ago

    I really like nuts with pasta, and this sounds like a winning combination. Your basil does brighten it up, but I agree — some of the best dishes don’t always look so great!

    I am always so happy to recreate good restaurant dishes at home. I’ll be eager to try this one.

  • 6 years ago

    Oooh, I don’t even know who Gunter Grass is, but I would so go there for a dish like that.

    • 6 years ago

      Günter Grass a famous German author and nobel prize winner.

  • 6 years ago

    I love the idea of a creamy walnut sauce with pasta. I almost did something similar last night but instead I just took the easy way out and added toasted walnuts to the pasta. I’ll have to try this next time I make noodles.

  • 6 years ago

    Wow! Yes please! I will have to try this sometime.

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