It's Meatless Monday! I usually like to plan dinner in the morning, but today was pretty busy with doctor appointments, interviews, Walmart, and general parental craziness. I didn't even start to think about what to make until 4:45. Thankfully I purchased some lovely asparagus and a package of mushrooms just a few days ago hoping something would come to mind, and we always have pasta on hand. This was really yummy, even Jack and Ben liked it!
Asparagus and Penne with Vegan Marsala Wine Sauce
1/4 white onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
8-10oz mushrooms (divided), rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup Marsala Wine
1 cup cashew cream *(recipe below)
1 cup soy free vegetable stock
2 tsp sea salt
1 few cracks of fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
12 oz organic corn pasta
25 stalks fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups water
In a medium sauce pan, melt Earth Balance over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add half of the mushrooms and saute until mushrooms begin to darken and get soft, about 3 minutes. Add Marsala Wine and cook down until about half the liquid has evaporated, 1-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add cashew cream and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low. Add remaining mushrooms and simmer about 15 minutes, until sauce has thickened to desired consistency. Add salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. (If your sauce just won't thicken and you're in a hurry, mix 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 Tbl water in a small cup until smooth and lump free. Add to sauce and raise heat a little to return to a boil. it should thicken quickly).
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. At the same time in a seperate small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add asparagus and boil until fork tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus and stir the two together. Serve penne with a big spoonful of sauce on top and maybe some yummy garlic bread. Yum!!
*To make cashew cream, soak 1 cup of raw cashews overnight. Drain and blend or process in a food processor until smooth. If you don't have time to wait, bring 2/3 cup of water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup raw cashews and a big pinch of salt and boil for 15 minutes. Pour the cashews and water into the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.