Pasta with Peas and “Alfredo” Sauce

This heart-shaped pasta is also heart-healthy since it is made from 100% whole wheat flour!
This heart-shaped pasta is also heart-healthy since it is made from 100% whole wheat flour!

My wonderful husband bought us some cute heart-shaped whole wheat pasta to enjoy for our Valentine’s Day dinner.  I decided to serve it with peas and dairy-free “alfredo” sauce, as well as a side of sauteed spinach.  It turned out great!  While your pasta does not have to be heart shaped 🙂 it should be whole wheat.  Check the ingredients list and look for the word “whole.”  Pasta that is made from “wheat” flour alone is processed away from fiber and trace nutrients.  Sometimes manufacturers will add back in some chaff to get “whole wheat” on their label.  Best to choose a brand that has “whole wheat” on the ingredients list.

This recipe uses roasted, unsalted cashews to thicken the sauce.  I soak the cashews

Simple ingredients, simple food, simply delicious plant-based meal!
Simple ingredients, simple food, simply delicious plant-based meal!

before they get processed in the food processor, essentially making cashew butter.  Substitute tahini if you don’t have cashews, or any nut butter in a pinch.  You could make this into more of a vodka sauce if you added a couple of roasted red peppers to be blended with the cauliflower.

Ingredients

1 Large head of cauliflower

2 Cups fresh green peas, or 1 small bag frozen

1 Box whole wheat pasta, cooked and drained

1 Large yellow onion, chopped

4 Cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 Cup roasted, unsalted cashews, soaked in hot water for at least 30 min

1/2 Cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1 Teaspoon oregano

1 Teaspoon thyme

2 Teaspoons basil (if using fresh basil, 1/4 cup chopped)

2 Tablespoons of water, or as needed

Trim the florets from the head of cauliflower.  Using a double boiler or steaming basket steam the cauliflower with 2 inches of water over high heat for 20 minutes or until tender.  Put the cooked cauliflower in a food processor with the soaked cashews and nutritional yeast and process on high, adding a little water as needed to achieve a creamy sauce consistency.  Pour the cauliflower mixture into a large bowl.

Saute the chopped onion and garlic in a pan over medium high heat, using a little water as needed in the pan to prevent sticking.    Cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in the oregano, thyme, and basil for about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the green peas and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Add the peas and onion mixture to the cauliflower and mix well.  Divide the pasta and serve topped with the “alfredo” sauce with peas, and a side of sauteed spinach or other vegetable if desired.

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