This dish sacrifices nothing in terms of flavour. It packs a tangy punch, it is creamy and full of umami. Yet, it is made only with whole foods, with no oils, in one saucepan and it is super fast and easy to prepare and inexpensive.
Serves two to three.
- 250g bow tie or other small shaped pasta
- a handful (or more if you like) of cherry tomatoes, sliced or 1-2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 200-300g asparagus spears, chopped (or use broccoli, broccolini, spinach, or even peas or corn – whatever vegetable you may have on hand and is in season) and steamed separately
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons garlic granules/garlic powder
- 2-3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 Tablespoon flax meal (or tapioca or corn flour), optional used for thickening if necessary
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegan parmesan (optional)
Instead of using the basic method of cooking pasta in a large quantity of boiling water (see Basic Pasta Cooking tips), you will use very little and the gluten and starch released from the pasta in the water will, in effect, become the basis for your sauce.
In a large saucepan, place the pasta and add enough water to cover the pasta plus a splash more. This is obviously not an exact measurement! Add a bit of salt to the water and stir.
Keep a glass of water nearby in case you need to add more, but in any event, do so gradually if need be.
Turn the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-high/simmer. It is important to stir from time to time so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
While the pasta is cooking, steam the asparagus and then set aside.
The water will get cloudier as the pasta cooks and it will be absorbed by the pasta. If you notice that the water is getting absorbed faster than the pasta is cooking, then add more water. But be careful! If you add too much water, the “sauce” will be runny. But there is a remedy for that too.
As soon as the water is cloudy, add the tomatoes and garlic granules and stir. The tomatoes will mostly disintegrate and infuse the pasta with flavour, colour and umami.
The pasta will cook in well under ten minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed by the pasta, as well as have evaporated somewhat, and the pasta should be creamy. If you feel the creamy sauce is too runny, add a tablespoon of flax meal and/or tapioca or corn flour. If you will be using the tapioca flour, be sure to dissolve it first in a bit of water so you avoid lumps.
Once you have reached desired consistency for the sauce, take off the flame and taste for seasoning. Then combine the asparagus, lemon juice and nutritional yeast, stir and serve immediately with freshly ground pepper and vegan parmesan (home made or with Good Carma Flavour Fusion parmesans). Leftovers, if any, are delicious for the next day or so.
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