Around this time of year, I start to get really psyched about spring produce, but I always expect it to arrive before it actually does. I think “Oh, March is when spring starts, which means warm weather and veggies abound!” But in reality, there’s still snow on the ground and I’m still stuck with winter squash for at least a few more weeks.
That’s why I like recipes like this. It’s deceptively springy. On the one hand, it’s packed with veggies like peas, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms, all in a light creamy sauce. So springy! On the other hand, I used frozen peas and artichoke hearts, mushrooms are pretty readily available all year long, and so is packaged pesto. I could really make this dish any time of year…it just happens to feel springy because of the ingredients I picked and its bright, bold flavor. Peas and artichoke hearts are perfect, because, quite conveniently, these veggies are pretty darn good when you buy them frozen.
I went with a creamy sauce, because it really is still cold out, so I’m still in the mood for comfort food. I just made the sauce a bit lighter than I might have back in January. I used Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk for the base because it’s smooth and creamy, but not too heavy. It’s also got a nice neutral flavor that’s not too sweet, so it’s perfect for savory dishes like this one. Using prepared pesto to flavor the sauce keeps things simple—it packs a ton of flavor, so you don’t have to worry about adding a million different seasonings. The one additional seasoning I do recommend is some miso paste, which adds some saltiness and just a touch of savory flavor.
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Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta
Penne pasta is dressed in a creamy, dairy-free pesto sauce and served with veggies to make this cozy vegan dinner.
- 8 ounces dried penne pasta (or your favorite pasta shape)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced
- 1 (9 ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk
- 1/4 cup prepared vegan pesto, or to taste (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced fresh basil and red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain into a colander and return it to the pot. Toss with a dash of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook them for about 5 minutes, until browned on the bottoms, then flip and cook about 5 minutes more, until browned on the opposite sides. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the artichoke hearts. Cook the for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Return the mushrooms to the pot, then sprinkle in the flour, flipping the veggies until they're coated with flour. Drizzle in the Cashewmilk while stirring, then stir in the pesto, miso, and lemon juice, stirring well to fully dissolve the miso.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens up and the mushrooms are tender.
- Stir in the peas and pasta and allow to cook just a minute more, until heated throughout. Remove the skillet from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide onto plates and top with basil and red pepper flakes. Serve.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.