Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gluten Free Wednesday: Cheesy Cashew Pasta with Veggies

Happy Gluten Free Wednesday!  Sometimes when our day in the bakery is really busy, it's difficult to find time to eat, let alone cook.  However, I made a promise to myself and L that I would always make a delicious lunch every Wednesday.  The easiest thing to do when short on time always seems to be pasta.  Neither L nor I will ever complain about that though, because pasta means a sauce, and I am definitely all about the sauces! 

I got the recipe for this sauce out of a cookbook that I am slowly, but surely making my way through completing each recipe.  This is from Vegan Yum Yum, the recipe for Hurry Up Alfredo (just what I was looking to do!)  As you can see, this is definitely not an alfredo!  I was pretty disappointed when I started blending the ingredients, because clearly the sauce was going to be a bright yellow/orange color, not the pale white color of a true alfredo sauce.  Damn was I expecting an alfredo sauce!   It looks nothing like the picture in the book either, though I followed the directions.  (I have found that a lot of the recipes are not what I think the author had intended for them to be or described them to be, but with much tweaking, all the recipes have been tasty.)  Well we had to work with what was created, so I decided to change the name to a Cheesy Cashew Pasta because the cashew flavor was very pronounced and the sauce looked more like a cheesy one.  Although I was disappointed about it not being very alfredo-like, L and I both enjoyed the flavor, took extra sauce home, and made another meal very easily and quickly for the hubby, which he also liked.

Cheesy Cashew Pasta with Veggies:

Pasta, Blanched Veggies, Cashew Cheesy Sauce,
Balsamic Marinated Tomatoes

Serves 2-4

1 pkg. gluten free pasta - desired shape, cooked until al dente
veggies of choice, lightly steamed (I used baby carrots, kale, green & red bell peppers)

Cheesy Sauce:
1 cup unsweetend soymilk
1/3 cup, rounded, raw cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons GF tamari
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
pinch black pepper

Balsamic Tomatoes:
2 roma tomatoes, small diced, about 1 1/2 cups
black pepper and sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1.  Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta until just al dente.  Drain the pasta using a slotted spoon and a bowl.  Do not drain the water - this will be used to lightly blanch the vegetables.
2.  While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.  Place all the sauce ingredients in the jar of a blender and blend until completely smooth and lump free - this will take several minutes.  If it is too thick, you can thin it with some additional soymilk.  Pour the contents of the blender into a small saucepan and over medium-low heat, heat just until heated through. 
3.  To prepare the balsamic tomatoes, place the diced tomatoes in a small bowl and add the sea salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar and oil.  Stir well to coat each tomato in the sauce.  Allow the flavors to marinate for several minutes. 
4.  To serve, place a serving of cooked pasta on a plate, followed by a serving on the blanched vegetables, the sauce, and finally the tomatoes, which have been slightly drained (if you put the marinated tomatoes and their marinade over top of the pasta, it will make a mess and have a strong flavor, so drain most of the liquid first).
5.  Serve!



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