Vegan Spring Pasta with Asparagus & Mushrooms

This pasta dish highlights one of our favourite seasonal veggies, asparagus, and is packed with tons more flavourful vegetables, both fresh and marinated. Fresh basil, lemon, and homemade cashew parm bring this dish together for a bright, yet comforting meal that is perfect for warm weather!

Spring is in full swing and so is asparagus season. We seriously can’t get enough of it over here, especially since it is always so readily available and fresh at our local Asian supermarket – we know we talk about it A LOT but it truly is the produce plug for us! That’s why we’ve highlighted it, along with other seasonal and tasty veggies in this spring pasta that is the perfect dish for warmer weather.

Sticking with seasonal produce as well as some of our favourite go-to’s, we opted for a combination of fresh and marinated veggies. Asparagus, shallot, and artichoke are the seasonal veggies we chose. We know that fresh artichoke is time-consuming and a little tricky to cook, so we chose to use marinated artichoke for simplicity and flavour. To add even more of that rich and salty flavour, we’ve included sun-dried tomatoes in oil as well as using the oil itself in the cooking process to really enhance the flavours of the dish. These mushroom lovers couldn’t help ourselves from adding cremini shrooms that are beautifully browned and charred. A simple and light sauce is made using oils, fresh lemon, and pasta water, and the final burst of freshness comes from basil to balance the dish out.

The beauty of this pasta recipe is that it comes together quickly, it’s simple, and the veggie mixture/sauce is all made in one pan and then tossed with cook pasta, making it mess-free too! It is also quite versatile in the fact that you can use any pasta variety – gluten-free, quinoa pasta, chickpea pasta, etc. and you can switch up the veggies for what’s in season for you and what you like best! Pasta is great all year round so we wanted to give you one that is light, but also full of bright and bold flavours, and absolutely perfect for the warmer days ahead.

Do you like to cook with seasonal produce? If so, what are your favourite springtime veggies?

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations – @smallkitchenbigplates

Vegan Spring Pasta with Asparagus & Mushrooms

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Print

This pasta dish highlights one of our favourite seasonal veggies, asparagus, and is packed with tons more flavourful vegetables, both fresh and marinated. Fresh basil, lemon, and homemade cashew parm bring this dish together for a bright, yet comforting meal that is perfect for warm weather!

Ingredients

  • 454g (16oz) gemelli pasta or pasta of your choice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch (10-12 spears) asparagus, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 350g cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 120ml (6oz) jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Chilli flakes, optional
  • Cashew parm, to taste
    Cashew Parm
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated garlic flakes or garlic powder, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes or onion powder, optional

Instructions

  1. Boil generously salted water in a large pot and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When the pasta is cooked, strain and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  2. Make the cashew parm. Place cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse until everything is crumbled. Add the dehydrated garlic and onion flakes or powder, if using, and pulse for a few seconds. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus, 1/2 cup of water, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes until it is soft and slightly browned and there is no water left. Season with salt and pepper. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced mushrooms and turn up the heat to high. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked and slightly charred and season again with salt and pepper.
  4. Lower the heat back to medium and add the last 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato oil and the shallots and garlic. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the chopped artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and stir for a minute until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if you’d like.
  5. If your cast-iron skillet or pan is big enough, add the cooked pasta in. Otherwise, transfer everything to the big pot that you cooked the pasta in and mix. Add up to 1/2 cup of pasta water to help with mixing. Gently fold in the fresh basil and serve with cashew parm, extra basil leaves, and chilli flakes if desired.

Notes

  1. This is a very versatile recipe so you can switch up both the fresh and marinated vegetables with what is in season for you or what you have at home!
  2. Leftover cashew parm will keep in a tightly sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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