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November 25, 2021

Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms (Oil-Free)

This Oil-Free Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms is an easy vegan weeknight dinner! It's super flavorful and cooked in just one pan.

Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms

A version of this dish was my favorite meal as a kid. This is funny because I used to HATE mushrooms and I don't really love tomato sauce either.

Why did I love this dish? Honestly I think it's because the flavor is so great - when you cook down mushrooms you get a great umami flavor. The original dish also had some pancetta, which of course adds a very salty, savory flavor. In this vegan version of the recipe I used coconut bacon to create that pancetta-like flavor.

I'm super thrilled to have this childhood favorite back in my life! Special thanks to my mom who helped me adapt this recipe from the original version.

Why I (still) love this Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms

  • Dietary needs — this pasta dish is dairy-free, plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free
  • Easy weeknight dinner — this dish only takes about 40 minutes to make! Perfect for a weeknight dinner
  • Full of flavor — even though I made a few changes from the recipe that I had as a kid, the recipe still has TONS of flavor

Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms

Ingredient Notes

  • Vegetable Broth: use a vegetable broth with no added sugar.
  • Mushrooms: I used a mix of button and baby portobellos - you can use whatever kind you like/have around.
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Rosemary: fresh is best, but dried would work too.
  • Tomatoes: canned tomatoes make this recipe so quick and easy. Make sure to get one can of diced and one can of crushed.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Minced Parsley
  • Gemelli Pasta: For a high-protein, gluten-free version I used Banza chickpea pasta. You can use any gemelli style pasta you like, or even something like penne.
  • Coconut Bacon: see below

Coconut Bacon

  • Flaked Coconut: Flaked coconut makes a great "chopped bacon" size. Shredded coconut is often too small.
  • Liquid Aminos: you can sub tamari or soy sauce.
  • Maple Syrup: for a refined sugar free version you can use date syrup.
  • Liquid Smoke

Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms in pan

How to make Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms

Step 1. Add the mushrooms and a splash of vegetable broth to a 12-inch skillet. Cook on high heat to brown the mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Allow the liquid that the mushrooms release to evaporate. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Step 2. Turn down the heat to medium-low and use a splash of vegetable broth to cook the garlic and rosemary. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.

Step 3. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4. Add the mushrooms and the parsley to the tomatoes. Stir well.

Step 5. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Step 6. Transfer the pasta to the pan with the mushrooms and tomato sauce. Add the coconut bacon and toss to combine. Add the pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve and enjoy!

Coconut Bacon

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Step 3. Bake until the coconut is browned and crispy, 5-7 minutes. Watch for burning. Let cool completely.

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for this food. Let us enjoy this meal. Amen.

Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms

Related Recipes

Looking for other easy vegan dinner recipes? Try these next:

Tried this recipe?

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Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms (Oil-Free)

This Oil-Free Gemelli with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms is an easy vegan weeknight dinner! It's super flavorful and cooked in just one pan.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

8

Prep:

5

min

cook:

35

min

total:

40

min

Ingredients

  • 2-4 Tablespoons Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Pound Mushrooms, sliced (I used a mix of button and baby portobellos)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Minced Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 14.5oz. Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 15oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
  • 1 Pound Gemelli Pasta (I used Banza chickpea pasta)
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Bacon*

Coconut Bacon

  • 1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Aminos
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke

Instructions

  1. Add the mushrooms and a splash of vegetable broth to a 12-inch skillet. Cook on high heat to brown the mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Allow the liquid that the mushrooms release to evaporate. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium-low and use a splash of vegetable broth to cook the garlic and rosemary. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the mushrooms and the parsley to the tomatoes. Stir well.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  6. Transfer the pasta to the pan with the mushrooms and tomato sauce. Add the coconut bacon and toss to combine. Add the pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve and enjoy!

Coconut Bacon

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Bake until the coconut is browned and crispy, 5-7 minutes. Watch for burning. Let cool completely.
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January 16, 2022
Tracy Henry
Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious Elizabeth. You got this one just right!
Oh yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
January 16, 2022
L Collins
Hi Could you please confirm two things:1. The amount of salt. Seems like too much. 2. The directions say there is lemon juice in the dressing but it’s not listed under ingredients. ThanksL.
Hi there! Confirming that the two teaspoons of salt in the dressing is correct. I didn't salt the cauliflower when roasting it or the salad after it was done, so this amount of salt was perfect. If you're concerned about it you can decrease the amount of salt in the dressing and then add more at the end if you need it. As for the lemon juice, SO sorry about that! It was a typo in my directions and I've removed it now. Hope this helps :)
December 20, 2021
Martha
This looks lovely! Do you have a recipe for the red pepper hummus also? Thank you!
Hi Martha! I don't have a recipe for red pepper hummus on my site. I suggest taking a traditional hummus recipe and blending in roasted red pepper.
November 22, 2021
Amanda J Lehmann
I tried these and they were delicious! A bit dense but flavorful and the "buckeye" blend of peanut and chocolate was on point! Recommend!
Yay! I'm so glad you liked them! -- Elizabeth
December 6, 2021
Grace
Hi, these look amazing. I was wondering, could I used powdered peanut butter in place of creamy for the recipe? thanks
Hi Grace! There is already some powdered peanut butter in this recipe, so adding more might make the texture more gluey. Also, the real peanut butter adds some fat, which helps create flavor. That said, if you want to use powdered peanut butter, I would suggest mixing it with a high-fat liquid like coconut cream and then measuring out 2/3 cup. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes :) -- Elizabeth
November 15, 2021
Becky
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking. -- Elizabeth
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography