Paste Primavera with Basil Cashew Cream Basil cashew cream: 6 oz. package or about 1¼ cup raw cashews (you can substitute roasted as well)
water, to cover cashews
2 bulbs garlic
olive oil, for drizzling 1 bunch basil
salt to taste
Cover the cashews with water and allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, prepare the garlic. Preheat you oven to 400˚F. Cut off the top ¼ of the garlic bulb and discard. Place the garlic on a piece of foil over a baking sheet, drizzle the garlic with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap-up the garlic in the foil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove and allow to cool enough to handle. Squeeze out all of the garlic cloves from the bulb, discarding the skin. The garlic can be made a day ahead, if desired. Before you make the cashew cream, blanch the basil in simmering water for 5 seconds, then if not serving immediately; puree with the cashews. If you are serving immediately shock the basil in ice water and wring out any excess liquid. Remove any large stems.
Drain the cashews, reserving the soaking liquid. Transfer the cashews to the blender, add enough water to cover the cashews, the roast garlic, blanched basil leaves and a generous pinch of salt. If you are using salted cashews, do not add any salt. Blend until the mixture is creamy. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
For the pasta: ¼ lb. spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1 shallot, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 2-3 cups of your favorite vegetables,
we used: halved cherry tomatoes,
poached baby carrots tender to a knife tip, cut into 2-inch chunks
asparagus, tough ends removed, stalks cut into 1-2 inch pieces
green beans, blanched until tender but crisp, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces,
snap peas, blanched until tender but crisp, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces,
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock desired amount of prepared basil cashew cream (I used 1-1½ cups) zest of a lemon nutritional yeast, for garnish, if desired
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add any raw vegetables you’re using and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add cooked vegetables for a minute. Add the chicken or veggie stock, reduce for 1 minute, add the cashew cream then pasta and toss through. Taste for seasoning, add some lemon zest. Top with the yeast if desired.