When I think of Easter, I dwell less on images of jelly beans and chocolate bunnies (although I LOVED chocolate bunnies when I was a kid! :)) than I do on the advent of springtime. And what, my dear readers, says “spring” better than fresh, crisp veggies and pasta tossed with a light and healthy cream sauce (sans cream, of course)? Nothing I can think of.
2 oz gluten-free pasta (I recommend using farfalle. Because I was unable to find it, I used penne.)
4 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into thirds
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into slices
1 small-medium carrot, peeled and sliced
3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup sliced onion
4 thin yellow pepper slices
1-2 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic (or less, if desired), minced
1/3 cup peas, thawed
4 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1-2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh basil, cut into ribbons, for serving (I used about 1 1/2 tbsp.)
crushed red pepper flakes, for serving
Cream Sauce (For me, this makes enough for two generous servings.)
1/4 cup cashews, soaked
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
salt, to taste
Cook gluten-free pasta according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 400. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss asparagus, zucchini, carrot, onion, garlic, tomatoes, mushroom, and yellow pepper with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast for 20 min.
Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Combine boiling water and 1/4 cup cashews in a small bowl, and let soak for at least 30 min.
Place soaked cashews in a blender, reserving the soaking liquid. Add reserved liquid by the tablespoon, and pulse until the cashew mixture is thin. (I added 5 tbsp liquid.) Transfer to a mixing bowl, and whisk in tahini and lemon juice. (I did this by hand because I wanted to toy with the consistency, but you can probably just add the tahini and lemon juice to your blender.) Sprinkle with salt, to taste.
To assemble, toss cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, peas, and olives with cream sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes to serve.