Monday, March 03, 2008

Creamy Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Seriously worthless pictures. *kicks camera*.

But I'm posting the recipe because it's totally awesome and I served this Farfalle in Garlic Cream Sauce with Mushrooms and Asparagus to a houseful of omnis this weekend, and it was a huge success.

My Mom kept saying "Would anyone like the VEGAN dish?" as if she really couldn't bring herself to call it Pasta with (rich, decadent) CREAM Sauce, but I'm happy to say, the 'vegan' title didn't scare anyone off.

This is easy, tasty, omni AND vegan-pleasing comfort food at it's best. I still wish the pictures did it's rich, creamy garlicness more justice.

Pasta in Garlic Cream Sauce with Asparagus and Mushrooms

1/2 cup raw cashews (not roasted)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I don't measure, just a good squeeze)
1 cup boiling water
2 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp. extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Tofutti Cream Cheeze
1 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar (or rice wine vinegar will be OK)
2 Tb. nutritional yeast (optional)
salt to taste


Pulverize raw cashews in the food processor until very fine powder. Add 1 cup boiling water. (*The BEST way to do this, is to make the sauce while the pasta cooks - scoop out 1 cup of lightly salted pasta-cooking water and use it - the starch from the pasta-cooking water thickens the sauce PERFECTLY!) Add water to cashews and process until smooth... this will take several minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. This will take a while. If it's too thick to process, add soymilk as needed. Taste and add salt or pepper as needed.

Cook enough pasta to go with the sauce. (Different people prefer "less" or "more" sauce depending on their tastes and how creamy they like their casseroles.) Mix sauce with pasta.

While pasta cooks:
Rinse 1 bunch of asparagus, cut the tender parts (not the tough stem ends) into 1 inch pieces.

Cut 10 large button mushrooms in half. Stir fry asparagus and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil until tender but asparagus is still a bit crisp.

Mix vegetables into pasta and sauce. Put pasta and veggies in a baking dish. You can refrigerate at this point until ready to bake.

When you're ready to bake the pasta:

Mix 2 Tbsp. cornstarch with 2 cups soymilk. Mix well with a wire whisk.

Pour over pasta until liquid comes 3/4 up side of dish.
Top with 1/2 cup buttered breadcrumbs.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 min. at 350. Remove foil. If it looks like it's drying out, add more soy milk.

Bake another 15 minutes. If breadcrumbs are not crispy-browned after 15 min. , broil for a few seconds, but watch carefully!

Enjoy, and happy Monday!!


bean_mix said...

its like 40 degrees celcius here in australia. And I want creamy hot pasta!
I thoughts the pictures were fine.

Johanna3 said...

yum! this looks good.

b36Kitchen said...

that dish looks really really good!

Susan said...

Another recipe to add to my favorites list. Thanks for sharing! I wish I had all those ingredients in my house right now. And, a food processor. Got to get me one of those...

Troy said...

This sounds delicious. I have had great success with an alfredo sauce that has a raw cashew base. And my favorite lasagna recipe uses the cream cheeze. I found your blog from your signature at veggieboards. The blog looks GREAT! I share your taste for comfort food. I will try some of your recipes soon and post a review and link from my blog.

Mihl said...

This looks so good! Can I have a serving?

Jody from VegChic said...

I've made quite a few creamy sauces using cashews as well. Everyone always loves them. That dish looks and sounds delightful though.

Cute pics of the girls and the pooch!

Thanks for the comments about Chihuly. I was blown away when I saw pictures a friend took at the Phipps exhibit and finally decided to check it out before it left. Now, I hear he will be showing at RISD in Providence near my house in the fall!

Michelle said...

i tagged you with a little game! details on my blog...

Amy said...

Yum! I made this last night. I finally got to use my nutritional yeast! Hardest thing to find were raw cashews since I'm only near normal groceries most of the time.

I think I'd like to add peas, too.