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)
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?