Asparagus and pea pasta sauce

It’s almost that time of year again – asparagus season. Probably my favourite season of the year! Officially running from 23rd April to 23rd June, the UK crop of these super tasty stems can be found in shops and markets around the country.

Of course, asparagus is available all year round, but out of season tends to be flown from South America. Which comes with extra costs, both transportation and environmental. Plus flavour and enjoyment in my personal opinion, because if you can have something every day, it moves from being tantalising to mundane pretty quickly.

So I always wait for asparagus to be in season; currently I’m in Portugal where the season starts earlier, so I have been enjoying delicious locally grown stems for a couple of weeks now. Lucky me!

Asparagus not only tastes fabulous, but comes with some great nutritional and gut health benefits. Here’s an old blog post to tell you more.

As with all nutrition-packed food, always eaten in a ‘normal’ amount, particularly if you have kidney issues or take certain medications like blood thinners or lithium as these can have an impact on their effectiveness. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid it, just consume in small amounts. Plants can have a powerful effect on the body – this is why changing to a whole-food plant-based diet can have amazing health benefits preventing and treating conditions. You just need to take care.

I’ve described this recipe as a pasta sauce, but you could serve it on a baked potato, rice, quinoa or your choice of accompaniment as well. And the type of pasta is up to you. Wholegrain is best if you can tolerate wheat. Otherwise choose a good gluten free option. I prefer brown rice pasta or pea pasta which adds extra plant protein too. But ultimately whatever you have to hand or can afford.

No doubt I’ll be adding a few more asparagus recipes to the blog over the next couple of months. This delicious pasta sauce is well worth adding to your Spring repertoire. It’s super easy to make, tingles those tastebuds and comes with a fab range of nutrients and fibre.

If you give this a go, do let me know how you get on. Enjoy!

Asparagus and pea pasta sauce

A quick, tasty and nutrient-packed pasta sauce full of Spring flavours
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 large portions

Equipment

  • High speed blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 medium cloves of galic sliced
  • 8 medium asparagus stems
  • 150 grams peas defrosted if frozen
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • cooked pasta of choice

for the sauce

  • 75 grams cashew nuts * soaked **
  • water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your pasta of choice. Cook according to the packet instructions.
  • Whilst the pasta is cooking, add 2 tablespoons of water in the base of a large non-stick frying pan. Add the sliced onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the woody ends of the asparagus stems. Cut off the tips and cut the stems into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the garlic slices to the pan with a little extra water if needed and continue to cook on a medium heat for another couple of minutes.
  • Pop the chopped asparagus stems into the pan along with the defrosted peas and continue to cook over a medium heat.
  • Drain the cashew nuts and rinse well. Pop into a high-speed blender jug and add enough water to cover the nuts with an extra 1 cm on top. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Blend for 30 seconds until smooth.
  • Add the aspragus tips to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the cashew sauce into the pan and stir well to combine. Simmer on a low heat - take care as the sauce with thicken as the water evaporates so make sure the heat is not up high.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pan. Stir well to coat the pasta.
  • Serve in bowls with the fresh parsley scattered on top. Eat immediately.

Notes

* if you cannot eat nuts, use a store bought dairy free cream of choice.
** soak the cashew nuts for 10 minutes in hot water or for 2 hours before you want them
Keyword asparagus, gut health, OMS friendly, quick dinner,, seasonal eating, Spring

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