I was so thrilled to find that being vegan didn’t mean giving up creamy pastas forever that, after my first successful creamy pasta attempt (a vegan primavera alfredo sauce) I couldn’t wait to create another pasta dish.
A more elegant pasta. An adult pasta. Something light and fresh, with baby asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, capers, and white wine.
This would be a perfect pasta for spring, when asparagus and mushrooms are just coming into season. But there’s still time to enjoy this pasta this summer, while fresh asparagus is still tasty and much cheaper than it will be in a few months.
However else you may decide to adjust this recipe, please use fresh asparagus – not frozen! And for heaven’s sake, do not use canned!
Here’s how to make it. Let’s start with the sauce:
- 1 tub Silken Tofu, about 14 oz.
- 1/4 cup Canola Oil
- 1/4 cup of your favorite faux Cooking “Milk” – I used unsweetened soy milk (WestSoy) but unsweetened almond milk or unsweetend Rice Milk would probably work just as well.
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Black Pepper (a couple really enthusiastic grinds)
- 3 largish cloves Garlic, chopped (Keep one clove separate)
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon (more if needed)
Pour all of the above – except for one clove garlic – into your blender canister. Blend. Pour it into a saucepan and set it on very low heat on the stove. You don’t want it to boil – just get warm.
To this sauce, add:
- Two ripe, diced Roma Tomatoes (or two fresh tomatoes from your garden or local Farmer’s Market)
- One tablespoon Capers (heck, go ahead and get crazy – add two tablespoons if you like salty stuff. I do and I did.)
Start heating a pot of water on the stove for the pasta.
Now, prepare the vegetables – you will need:
- 1 bunch young, fresh Asparagus
- 12 largish white Button Mushrooms or Baby Bellas
- 1 tablespoon or so Canola Oil
- 1/3 cup dry White Wine
Snap the asparagus as far down the stem as possible, at the point where it easily breaks. It’s hard to describe, but once you do it you’ll get it. Discard the woody stem and then snap the top part into roughly 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces. You’ll probably wind up with the little flowery head as one piece and one to two stem pieces from each stalk. Rinse.
Gently wash off any dirt from the mushrooms, then slice.
Add a little oil to a small pan and then add your remaining clove of chopped garlic. Stir over medium-high heat, no more than a minute or two, until garlic starts to brown.
Quickly, add 1/3 cup dry white wine, the mushrooms, and the asparagus.
Your pasta water is probably boiling right now so go ahead and add the pasta – enough for four servings. I highly recommend angel hair (vermicelli) for this one.
Saute/steam the vegetables about 5-7 minutes, until the asparagus is tender and the mushrooms have reduced.
Remove vegetables from heat. Drain pasta.
Taste the veggies – you may want to give the asparagus an extra squeeze of lemon juice.
Add the veggies – including all the cooking liquid – to the sauce. Stir gently.
Serve over pasta and top with more freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
- This sauce is gluten-free; if you are gluten-sensitive use a gluten-free pasta
- You’d think broccoli would be an acceptable substitution for the asparagus, but for some reason it really, really isn’t.