Vegan Tallarín Paraguayo, a quick vegan version of this classic Paraguayan style tomato pasta dish. Tempeh and mushrooms in a rich umami tomato sauce with linguine pasta.
Serving Vegan Tallarín Paraguayo
Tallarín Paraguayo is a tomato-based pasta dish traditionally made with chunks of beef and vegetables slowly cooked in a rich tomato sauce. For our vegan Tallarín Paraguayo, we swapped out the beef for tempeh and mushrooms. The mushrooms give the sauce a deep umami flavour. Particularly the porcini mushrooms. They are like concentrated umami bombs. The liquid they soak in turns into the best mushroom stock. The mushrooms and tempeh cook much quicker than the beef which means this delicious dish will be ready in no time.
The other thing different with Paraguayan tomato pasta compared to other tomato-based pasta dishes is that the protein is kept in large pieces as well as any vegetables added to the sauce. Potatoes are sometimes added but we chose to omit them as they can take a while to cook in tomato sauce. If you want to add potatoes to your vegan Tallarín Paraguayo you could add them with the sauce and boil them until soft or boil them separately in another pot.
Served on its own, vegan Tallarín Paraguayo is perfect for lunch or dinner. You can even double the sauce and store half of it in the fridge for the following couple of days. Just heat it up on the stove and add cooked pasta.
Vegan Tomato Pasta Cooking Tips
When making vegan tomato-based pasta sauces it can be hard to get a good depth of flavour, especially when time is limited. Here are some tips you can apply to this vegan Tallarín Paraguayo as well as any vegan red sauce.
- Porcini mushrooms are great for adding a deep umami flavour to sauces. Just soak them for at least 10 minutes. Reserve the cooking liquid and add it to the sauce. Make sure to pour slowly as porcini usually has sediments that sink to the bottom of the liquid that you don’t want to add to the dish.
- Tomato purée is also another ingredient that will deepen the umami flavour of a tomato-based pasta dish. This is especially helpful when making this quick vegan tomato pasta sauce. If you add the purée to the pan and sauté it off for a couple of minutes this will increase the umami flavour.
- For this vegan Tallarín Paraguayo, it’s important to cook the tomato sauce for at least 10 minutes. This will weaken the acidity in the raw chopped tomatoes and sweeten the sauce. If you are not pushed for time we would even suggest simmering the sauce for longer to further intensify the flavours. Adding some sugar has the same effect but time really gives the best flavour.
Paraguayan Tomato Pasta (Tallarín Paraguayo)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 25 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 150 g shiitake mushrooms
- 250 g tempeh
- 2 medium onions
- 1 large carrot
- 4 clove garlic
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 400 g tinned crushed tomatoes
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 300 g linguine
- Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl then pour over 100ml of boiling water. Set them aside to soak for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the dish.
- Cut the shiitake and tempeh into bite-sized chunks.
- Place the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot add the tempeh and shiitake mushrooms. Sauté until the tempeh is golden all over, stirring regularly. This will take around 6 minutes.
- Add the onions and carrots and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, around 4 minutes.
- Remove the porcini from the soaking liquid, reserving the liquid for later. Cut the porcini into small pieces.
- Add the minced garlic, diced red bell pepper and chopped porcini. Stir everything together and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
- Now add the sweet paprika, ground cumin and dried oregano. Sauté for 30 seconds.
- Make a well in the middle of the pan and add the tomato puree. Cook it out for 30 seconds in the well then mix into the rest of the ingredients and continue to sauté everything for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock and the porcini soaking liquid. When pouring in the porcini liquid make sure not to add any sediment that might have sunk to the bottom of the liquid.
- Stir everything together then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer then cover the pan. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the linguine according to the packet instructions. Drain the linguine once cooked then add it to a bowl and mix through the extra virgin olive oil to stop it from sticking.
- Once the pasta is cooked and the sauce has been simmering for around 10 minutes add the pasta to the sauce and mix together until all the pasta is coated in sauce.
- Serve the vegan Tallarín Paraguayo with some extra sauce on top and garnish with fresh parsley.