Everything about pasta primavera says spring and early summer: peas, asparagus, leeks, and zucchini. A signature dish of American cuisine, it has been “veganized” here by using cashew milk and Earth Balance Buttery Spread instead of dairy. Chef Valerie Augustine selected quinoa pasta to make it gluten-free as well. The richness of the sauce comes from the vegetable broth reduction, a trick worth tucking away for other recipes, when you want to enhance a dish’s flavor.
We have found that quinoa pasta can sometimes require a little longer to cook than the directions would imply, unlike rice pasta which often requires less time than recommended.
2 medium-sized leeks
4 small zucchinis
1 pound asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound quinoa or other gluten-free spaghetti pasta
2 cups vegetable broth
4 cups cashew milk
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
¼ cup warm water
1½ cup frozen or fresh peas (blanch if fresh)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley plus additional for optional garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
½ teaspoon freshly-grated or dry nutmeg
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
- Cut off dark green portions of leeks, trimming just to where the color is pale green. Discard green parts. Chop leeks and soak in cold water to clean. Drain.
- Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise and slice.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add drained leeks and sliced zucchini and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and sauté one more minute. Remove from pan and reserve.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove woody ends from asparagus and cut spears into bite-sized pieces. Toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil, salt and freshly-ground pepper, and roast in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to directions and drain well. (Never rinse pasta!)
- Add vegetable stock to pan and reduce by half over high heat.
- Add 2 tablespoons Earth Balance to stock along with 4 cups cashew milk and bring to a boil.
- Add warm water to flour in a small bowl and stir to create a slurry. Slowly add slurry to the sauce, stirring with a whisk and allowing sauce to thicken. Cook sauce at a boil for a minute and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add peas, parsley, tarragon, and nutmeg to sauce and stir, cooking just until peas are tender.
- Add pasta and vegetables to sauce and cook over a medium heat for five minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve with garnish of chopped parsley if desired.