Oh boy, is this delicious. I’m in the kitchen cooking an absolutely delightful angel hair pasta dish. As a person who leans grain-free, one thing I regularly miss is pasta, and these noodles are not just grain-free but guilt-free, because they’re made with one simple ingredient: hearts of palm. How lovely is that? Have you ever had hearts of palm? It is actually sustainably harvested from the pale white inner core of palm trees, mildly sweet, and high in Vitamin B-6. Pretty genius to turn it into a pasta.

Recently on the stories, many of you saw me make a truly spectacular weekend pasta for my son Patrick, who is vegan, and so many people asked about it that today I’m sharing how we got there. Let’s go! This dish happens to be a three-fer: you’ll learn how to cook up a spectacular mushroom, an amazing summer tomato sauce, and this lovely pasta. Learning to make a homemade summer tomato sauce should be on absolutely everyone’s repertoire. It’s really as easy as tomatoes of different shapes, sizes, and colors tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, oven roasted at 375 F for about an hour, blended and finished with a bit of balsamic. Frankly, making a sauce like this is a healing art. It’s so wonderful with the pasta, and a couple of spoonsful are perfect to finish off a minestrone. 

The trick to creating a vegan dish that Patrick will love is texture. I like to serve something to replace the meat, so here we created a sort of mushroom bacon, which adds not just texture but a depth of flavor, and along with the tomato sauce and veggie pasta, the combination is altogether lovely. My friend Froggy at the farmers market had some wonderful, exotic wild mushrooms. For this we used oyster, trumpet, and maitake (also called hen-of-the-wood). Get out of your comfort zone and find a local farmer who is selling vegetables straight from the farm. They’ll be fresher, cost a bit less, and it is sort of the epitome of shopping local. 

These hearts of palm noodles couldn’t be simpler. Just rinse them for a minute under cold water, gently heat, add some of the warm sauce, plate it up, and add your topping. Perfect for summer.

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Vegan Crispy Mushroom Marinara

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Pasta
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the tomato sauce: 

4 pounds beautiful tomatoes, about 12 cups (we used Roma and cherry, but use your favorites)
3  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5-7 garlic cloves 
1 tablespoon high-quality Balsamic

For the Mushroom Bacon:

16 ounces wild mushrooms, around 8 heaping cups, cut into big chunks (we used a mix of shitake, trumpet, maitake and oyster mushrooms)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons high-quality, dark and thick balsamic 
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Noodles:

2 packages hearts of palm noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
Basil (optional)


Make the tomato sauce:

Preheat oven to 400F.

On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, place the tomatoes evenly. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat thoroughly. Then add the garlic cloves.

Checking every 20 minutes, Place the pan in the oven and roast the tomatoes until soft and done, about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic.

Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.


Make the mushroom bacon:

Preheat oven to 475F. 

On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, add the mushrooms. Drizzle with the olive oil, toss to coat and lay in a single layer on the pan. Place in the oven and roast until crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the balsamic and salt. Set aside.


Make the noodles:

Being gentle so as to not break the delicate noodles, remove from package and rinse with room temperature water for about 1 minute. Set aside to let dry.

 In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is warm, add noodles and salt. Add 1 cup of sauce, gently toss to coat, then add the rest of the sauce and toss to thoroughly coat. 

Top of with crispy mushrooms and basil ribbons. Serve.

Note: we added 1 cup of sauce to one bag of noodles. 

Keywords: vegan pasta, grain-free pasta