Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pasta w/Creamy Sauce

I've been wanting to try and make my own pasta sauce for a while now.  I thought I would just make your basic pasta sauce with added veggies & spices.  However, lately I've been dying to try something creamier or cheesier, like so many vegan pasta dishes contain that I read about.  My only problem with most recipes I've come across, whether just to make a creamy sauce or cheese sauce, is that they contain Nutritional Yeast (aka: "nooch").  It's high in protein and B vitamins making it pretty popular among vegans.  It also has a creamy, cheesy flavor that makes it a great cheese substitute.  However, my problem with it is that it also contains high levels of free glutamate from its processing.  I only tried nutritional yeast once and had a bad reaction, similar to how I would feel if I had consumed MSG. Therefore, I avoid it.

Thankfully, I read recently that using ground mustard is a good way to spice up, or add a nice kick and unique flavor to several dishes, included sauces.  Typically, it compliments cheese (or nutritional yeast) in recipes. Since I already had a basic idea on how to thicken up sauce, I thought I'd experiment and see what I could come up using just ground mustard, minus the "nooch".  I couldn't be happier with the thickness and taste of this sauce!  This is a very basic recipe with a whole lot of flavor!  

Pasta w/Creamy Sauce
2 cups marinara sauce
3/4 cups cashews
1/4 cup rice milk
1 tbsp ground mustard
salt & pepper to taste
16oz fusilli pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 cups frozen peas

For "Creamy Sauce":
Place marinara sauce, cashews, rice milk, ground mustard, salt & pepper in food processor and blend until smooth and thick.  Pour sauce into medium pot and heat over medium-low, stirring often until heated through.
*This recipes yields about 2.5 cups of sauce.  Feel free to make more if you like a lot of sauce.  I found it to be just enough for our liking.

For Pasta & Peas:
While the creamy sauce is heating up, prepare pasta according to package directions.

Towards the end of the pasta cooking (with around 8 minutes remaining), add peas and 1/4 cup of water to small pot.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 5 minutes, until peas are bright green and softened.   If any water remains, drain.

Top pasta with creamy sauce, then add the peas.   Then say "yum!" :-)

Creamy Sauce simmering in the pot

Pasta Dish "before"

Pasta Dish "after" :-)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!  


Val said...

Yum! I could have a bowl of that right now! ;)

Christine said...

Ha ha, I know what you mean. We both had leftovers for lunch today and I'm sad that it's all gone now! ;-)

Barbara said...

I'm glad you commented on my blog, and that my recipes are useful for you. I have friends who are seriously allergic to MSG, and that helped me figure out that I am much better off without it. But really, just eating simple, food as grown gets rid of most of it.

I've used mustard powder to make food have more flavor. It really works pretty good. It's good in salad dressing too.

Christine said...

Thanks for your post, Barbara! I get very ill from MSG as well.

I'm glad I "discovered" mustard powder! Thanks for the tip on using it for salad dressings too! :)