Try our vegan cacio e pepe recipe then check out Padella's famous cacio e pepe, our vegan bolognese, vegan pasta bake, vegan mushroom ragu and more vegan pasta recipes.



  • 120g '00' flour
  • 270g strong white bread flour, plus extra for coating
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 80g raw cashew nuts, soaked in just-boiled water for 1 hour
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 50g vegan butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • a pinch sea salt flakes
  • ground to make ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 tbsp (check it's vegan) dry white wine
  • finely chopped to make 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley


  • STEP 1

    In a medium bowl, mix together the pasta ingredients along with 200ml of water. Mix well with a spoon until the dough just comes together, then switch to using your hand. Once you have a good ball of dough, turn it out onto a clean worksurface.

  • STEP 2

    Knead the dough well for at least 10 minutes. It should have changed texture from sticky to very smooth. Pat the dough into a rough oblong. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 20 evenly sized strips.

  • STEP 3

    Put the strips onto a plate and cover with a damp tea towel. Take one strip of dough and lay it on a clean, un-floured worksurface. Use both hands to roll the strip against the table, moving your palms from the centre of the strip outwards as you roll. You should end up with a long, thick, shoelace of pasta, about the width of a chopstick.

  • STEP 4

    Add another 4-5 tbsp of bread flour to a bowl then drop in the pasta strand. The flour should coat it and stop it from feeling sticky. Put the floured piece of pasta onto a lightly floured baking tray and cover with a damp tea towel. Repeat the process with the remaining dough strips until you have four portions of floured pici. Making sure all the pasta is covered, set it aside.

  • STEP 5

    To make the sauce, first drain the cashews – they should be soft and flexible. Put them in a high-speed blender. Add 175ml of water and blend on the highest speed until you have a very smooth cashew cream. The mixture should be the consistency of cream.

  • STEP 6

    Put the dried mushrooms into a mug or small bowl, then cover them with justboiled water and leave to soak for at least 10 minutes. Bring a pan of water to the boil and salt generously. Once the water is boiling, cook the pici in three batches (each batch of pasta takes 3-4 minutes). Once cooked, strain the pici but reserve the pasta water. Toss the pasta in a little olive oil to stop it sticking together, cover and set aside to keep warm.

  • STEP 7

    Heat the vegan butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until melted. Fry the onion for a few minutes until turning translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes more – don’t allow the onions or garlic to brown.

  • STEP 8

    Drain the mushrooms but reserve their soaking water. Chop the mushrooms very finely before adding to the frying pan and stirring well. Season.

  • STEP 9

    Remove 4 tbsp of the mushroom soaking water, being careful not to stir-up the gritty particles at the bottom. Add it to the frying pan along with the white wine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer until reduced.

  • STEP 10

    Add a large ladle of the reserved pasta water (around 200ml) and simmer again, stirring often, until reduced by about half.

  • STEP 11

    Stir well before adding the cashew cream. Whisk to combine and allow to simmer one more time on a low heat until glossy and thick enough to coat the pasta. Remove from the heat. Dress the pasta with the sauce just before serving, and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a little extra black pepper, if you like.


Richard Makin School Night Vegan Portrait
Richard MakinVegan columnist

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