21 March 2021

Spicy Artichoke, Mushroom & Spinach Pasta

Spicy and smoky, creamy, garlicky tomatoey pasta sauce with artichoke hearts, spinach and chestnut mushrooms. A short tube pasta like mezzi rigatoni works great here - the sauce clings onto the ridges, so you get a perfect coating in every bite. 

This is a great weeknight dinner - coming together in 20 minutes, it's super simple to make and a real crowd-pleaser. Serve up with a garnish of fresh parsley, cracked black pepper and a dressed rocket salad, or for a little indulgence, some crispy garlic bread. 

This recipe started off inspired by penne alla vodka - an 80's American-Italian dish made with tomato paste, cream and a little vodka to help emulsify the sauce. I tested this recipe with and without vodka and actually preferred it without - perhaps the vegan creme fraiche I used emulsifies more readily, but I felt the vodka gave a slight harsh bitter flavour to the sauce, so I didn't include it in the final recipe. I also love the slightly sour and more complex flavour the creme fraiche adds, complimenting the smoky and spicy notes. 

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Spicy Artichoke, Mushroom & Spinach Pasta | Serves: 4 | Time: 20 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Sauté pan
  • Sauce pan
  • Colander


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 150g chestnut Mushrooms
  • 250g meze rigatoni (or other tube pasta)
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree 
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 150g vegan creme fraiche (I used Oatly)
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (from a jar, sliced into 1/4s)
  • 100g spinach
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt


  1. Finely dice an onion and mince three cloves of garlic.
  2. Heat a sauté pan on medium-low, add 2 tbsp olive oil with the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. 
  3. Bring a large pan of generously salted water to the boil.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, turn the heat up on the saute pan and add to the pan with a pinch of salt. Let the mushrooms brown, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 7-9 minutes, until just al dente. Then drain, reserving 1/2 a cup of pasta water.
  6. Reduce the heat on the sauté pan and add the tomato puree, herbs, chili flakes, nutritional yeast and black pepper and cook off for a few minutes. Add the creme fraiche and artichoke hearts and heat through. 
  7. Add in the spinach, cooked pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water, stir together, adding a splash more pasta water as required to achieve desired consistency.
  8. Serve with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley and a crack of black pepper and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx