It’s asparagus season here in Melbourne so we have been enjoying more asparagus in our meals. Before we became vegan, I used to sometimes make spinach with cream, which came together quickly and tasted delicious. Well, no more cream for us, but with this recipe we definitely didn’t miss it. In fact, I think this tastes way nicer than the cream version! In this version, I didn’t use spinach but instead opted for asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms but a meatier texture and more variety. The Creamy Spinach version will be posted up later, I promise!
- half an onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- half cup of cashews, soaked in hot water (covered) for at least 20 minutes, or longer
- half cup of soy milk
- 1 cup water (I used the water that I had reserved from cooking the pasta)
- 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
- 9 small button mushrooms (cremini mushrooms would taste even better but they are more expensive and not always available where we live), sliced very thinly
- half a zucchini, very thinly sliced into half moons
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- salt & pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp of salt)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup white wine, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook your pasta as per the package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water for use later.
- In a frypan over medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil. Once the oil has warmed up, add in the onions and cook until the onions are soft. Then, add in the garlic and cook until the garlic starts to smell yummy (or start to look a bit more cooked). If it starts to stick to the pot, add a bit of the reserved water and mix well.
- Add the asparagus and mix for a few seconds. If you are using the wine, add a little bit of it here. Continue cooking the asparagus until it starts to turn bright green. The asparagus should not yet be fully cooked as you still need to add the other ingredients and cook it further.
- Add the mushrooms and zucchini, thyme and pepper. Mix it well and then after a few seconds add in the rest of the wine. Turn the heat to low.
- While the mushrooms and zucchini are cooking, make the cashew sauce by draining the cashews and blending the cashews with 1/2 cup of soy milk. I added a bit of the pasta water to thin out the cashew cream (about 1/4 cup of water). Blend until it is very smooth – the mixture should not be ‘grainy’.
- Add the cashew cream to the pot with the mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus. Add salt and 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast. Mix well. The cream should get thicker quite quickly and will continue to thicken as long as it is on the hot stove. Add the reserved pasta water to thin out the cream and cook it until you get it to a consistency that you like.
- Taste it to see if it needs any more salt or adjustments of the other seasonings.
- Serve it with pasta and enjoy 🙂