Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cashew Butter Pasta Primavera

Well, I was all over the place today.  I was running around doing errands all day with my mom and sister.  We dropped off some old clothes at the Salvation Army, sold some old books to Half-Price Books, went to the gym, and got some shoes for the sister.  So, when it was time for dinner, I realized that I was absolutely starvin' Marvin.  We had a ton of fresh veggies from Hy Vee to use up, so I decided to make a veggie pasta primavera!

I saw a dish called Straw and Hay Pasta at Founding Farmers last time I was there.  It had asparagus, long noodles, and peas.  I thought it looked awesome, but it had bacon in it and probably a ton of heavy cream, so I didn't get it.  But, I thought that I could recreate it, leaner, meaner, and with a couple of twists, at home.  So, that is what I did.

Cashew Butter Pasta Primavera  
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp Tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz spaghetti
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup asparagus (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)
Black pepper

Put 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the cashews and toast for three minutes, stirring often.  Allow the cashews to cool and transfer them to a food processor.  Puree until smooth, adding about 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp Tahini.  The consistency should be a little thinner than peanut butter.  Add lemon and crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.

Cashew butter/pasta sauce
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it.  Add asparagus and cook for two minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, add the peas and cook for another 2 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.  Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.  Drain the pasta, reserving about half a cup of the cooking liquid.

Mix three tablespoons of the cashew butter into the pasta and add the blanched vegetables.  Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.  Toss pasta until evenly covered with sauce.

It makes a ton and is pretty healthful too!  The cashew butter gives it an almost creamy texture, so you don't even miss the heavy cream.  Pretty good stuff.
So, what do you guys think?  Any good ideas for variations?  Gonna try it soon?  Am I a crazy person?


  1. wait...did u generate ur own nutrition label?! this is actually blowing my mind. what website did u use to do that?

  2. Also, I don't understand y my username was posted as 9-5Girl because that is def not my username....hopefully this comment will show up properly?

  3. Lol, I don't really get that either, but your pic shows up next to the username, so I knew it was you. Yeah, you can generate your own nutrition label for any recipe via several websites. I use this one, http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php