adapted from Bon Appétit.
- 1 cup cashews
- 4 Tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces mushrooms (I used cremini, but maitake would also be great), sliced or torn into bite-size pieces
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces spaghetti or other long pasta
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- juice + zest of about 1 lemon (alter to taste; I used Meyer lemons which are more mild than regular lemons)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Arrange half of mushrooms in a single layer in pot and cook, undisturbed, until edges are brown and starting to crisp, about 3 minutes. Give mushrooms a good toss, then continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until all sides are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a plate; season with salt. Repeat with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, remaining mushrooms, and more salt.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add leeks, shallots, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often and adding another 1 Tbsp. oil if pan looks dry, until leeks and shallots are beginning to caramelize (or caramelized almost completely if you have the time), about 25-45 minutes. Once the onions are cooked to your liking, turn off the heat, and return all of the mushrooms to same pot.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions (the pasta will finish cooking in the pan). Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
- Blend cashews, nutritional yeast, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid in a blender until very creamy. Set cashew cream aside.
- Return drained pasta to pot with mushroom mixture and add reserved cashew cream. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring well to coat, until pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water to make everything come together. Remove from heat. Add parsley and lemon zest and juice. Toss well to incorporate.
- Divide pasta evenly among shallow bowls or plates and top with several grinds of pepper.