I don’t know about you but when I do my food shop, I plan meals for the week so I don’t overspend, however, how many of those meals actually are made in my house? Maybe one out of seven dinners! The rest I make up according to what I fancy and whatever happens to be in the fridge. It was a warm spring day so I wanted something seasonal, fresh tasting with plenty of green veg but also filling, comforting and creamy. This is one of those meals.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300-400g of spirali pasta (fusilli and penne would also work well)
  • 300g of frozen spinach, thawed and roughly chopped
  • 300g of fresh asparagus (snap the ends off, they will naturally snap where they become tender and then slice into 2cm pieces)
  • 50g of unsalted cashews boiled for 20 minutes and then left in the cooking water off the heat for a further 20 minutes
  • 100ml of soy cream
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • Juice of two lemons (and zest if they’re unwaxed)
  • 20g of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
To garnish: extra virgin olive oil and a handful of fresh basil (optional)

Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pan of well salted boiling water (salty as the Mediterranean so they say) for one minute less than it says on the packet.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, saute the spinach and asparagus in the olive oil for 3 minutes over a medium heat and then add a splash of water and continue to cook for a further minute stirring occasionally, it should be reasonably dry.
In a jug, with a stick blender, blend the cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice (and zest if using), soy cream, a splash of the cooking water from the cashews and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, until creamy. Check the seasoning and adjust according to your preference.
Mix the creamy sauce with the spinach and asparagus and recheck the seasoning.
Add the drained pasta to the sauce with a splash of the cooking water from the pasta and mix well. Serve topped with torn fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
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