Who needs dairy-laden pasta when you can make your own creamy yet healthy vegan pasta dish? Melisser Elliot, award-winning author of The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life, shares this simple recipe for comfort food at its delicious best.
Elliot, who is founder of Sugar Beat Sweets bakery in San Francisco, California and founder of The Urban Housewife blog, suggests substituting broccoli for the asparagus when asparagus isn't in season. This healthy vegan recipe is also a winning dish when inviting non-vegans to dinner.
Pasta with asparagus in lemon cream sauce recipe
1 pound pasta noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 pound asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup raw cashews
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Prepare the pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and red pepper.
Add asparagus and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Sauté the asparagus until it's crisp but tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks.
Meanwhile, puree the cashews in a food processor until a smooth paste forms.
Add lemon zest, black pepper and the remaining salt, and blend together.
Add water and lemon juice in a steady stream to the cashew mixture with the food processor running; the sauce will be thin.
Add pasta to the skillet, toss to combine, and remove from heat.