Forego the cruelty, skip the clams, and make this sensational Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe! Al dente capellini noodles, paired with the perfect mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and mushrooms creates one enticing and luscious dish.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and generously season with sea salt. The water should taste like the ocean.
Add the pasta and set the timer according to package directions for an Al Dente texture. Do not cook one minute more.
Reserve 2 cups of the starchy pasta water then drain the noodles.
Transfer the drained pasta to the bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. Ideally you’ll add some ice cubes to this water.
Make the Aglio e Olio Sauce / Garlic Oil Sauce
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a light drizzle of olive oil oil and the oyster mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Saute until wilted then transfer to a bowl.
In the same skillet on medium low heat add 1/3 cup of olive oil, all the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Give it a stir for a few seconds just until it starts to sizzle and its fragrance perfumes your kitchen. Take good care not to burn it, this is important. (If you are sensitive to garlic please cut the amount in half as this is quite a lot, it's for those of us with garlic running through our veins ha).
Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and whisk into the oil and garlic until combined. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until emulsified and remove from heat.
Drain the cool noodles and add them to the pan with the sauce together with the oyster mushrooms and parsley. Using a pair of kitchen tongs toss the noodles in the sauce to coat all over. Add a little more of the reserved pasta water if needed to stretch out the sauce.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste with sea salt and pepper. If your pasta water was properly salted you might not need to add any salt at all.
Serve promptly with fresh parsley on top, extra red pepper flakes, a lemon wedge and a light drizzle of olive oil.
Tips and Variations
Storage - Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. I do not suggest freezing this vegan spaghetti and clams recipe.
Reheating - Reheat using the microwave or over the stove.
Which pasta should I use? - My go-to pasta for this dish is Capellini, but any thin spaghetti noodles will work. Stay away from thick noodles like linguine, bucatini or fettuccini; they don’t pair well with this style of dish.
Add seafood flavor - Add seafood flavor with a pinch of dulse flakes or any dried seaweed flakes.
Make it gluten-free - To make this gluten-free friendly, all you have to do is use gluten-free noodles. Everything else is naturally gluten-free!
Lemon wedges versus lemon juice - Traditionally, lemon wedges are served on the side when ordering this pasta dish in a restaurant. However, I really beg to argue that adding the fresh lemon juice as a main component of the sauce is what makes it out-of-this-world, perfectly balanced.
Add-in ideas - Some delicious add-in suggestions are steamed broccoli, green peas, oyster mushrooms, marinated artichokes, salty black olives, sun dried tomatoes, vegan parmesan, fresh basil (in place of parsley), kale, spinach, smoky tempeh bits, plant-based Italian sausage, steamed or grilled asparagus, toasted bread crumbs, etc.