Creamy Leek and Asparagus Pasta
Three little items seem to keep cropping up in our weekly fruit and vege box of late. Leek. Asparagus. And Dill. Now I don’t know about you but I had never paired these fellows in a recipe before. Yet suddenly nature was calling at me from the tree tops, come on Buffy, we’re meant to be together!
The more we have started eating with the seasons (ie instead of loading up the trolley with the ol’ broc + tomatoes + salad leaves combo), the more I’ve realised how smart mother nature is in providing us with exactly the right foods for the time of year, weather, our bodies and our health. It also seems to have an uncanny knack at creating natural pairings that just, well work.
And so my leek + asparagus + dill brainstorming began. I’m one of those funny people who goes to bed with all sorts of new recipe ideas dancing around in my head. I have a few lists on the go (a physical recipe diary and on my phone), and I think my sum tally of recipes-to-make-and-share-on-the-blog is nearing 100. The dreaming seems to mount up much faster than the actual writing though!
But back to this dish. I knew there was going to be a lot of green going on with our leek, asparagus and dill, so we needed something seriously hearty and cosy to balance out all of that greenery. In comes my good friend, pasta.
Is pasta good for you?
Pasta has gotten a bad rap of late (along with my beloved potatoes, but more on them later). But there are so many amazing pasta options out there now that are actually fantastic additions to a healthy whole foods diet. One I am absolutely loving at the moment is made out of legumes – soybeans, edamame, mung beans, black beans and adzuki beans to name a few. These pastas are awesome for a bunch of reasons:
- They’re lovely and high in protein (40%+, move over boring insipid chicken breast)
- They’re naturally gluten free (so everyone’s gut, and mind is happy)
- They only contain two ingredients – legumes and water = unrefined goodness
- They’re certified organic (so no chance of GMOs or other nasties)
- Unlike most gluten free pastas, they’ve got a great chewy texture and don’t turn into a gluggy gooey mess. In fact I’ve test-trialled this, and even a shot of overcooking whilst I rescued Mila from the electrical cords couldn’t ruin these bad boys from achieving al dente greatness.
- No eggs were hurt in the making – which also makes them great for kiddies with allergies and family members with high triglycerides or cholesterol.
- They’re done in 7 minutes. Which means this dish is literally on the table in under 15. Now that’s my kind of dinner.
So what about the sauce?
Because really, we all know that an amazing pasta is all about the sauce those chewy morsels of deliciousness are swimming in. This one takes smooth and sweet leeks, pairs them with crisp new season asparagus, tangy lemon, a fresh hint of summer dill, a deliciously creamy yet light cashew based sauce, and is topped off with another of my favourite ingredients – smoked kelp.
If you haven’t yet tried smoked kelp you must give it a go – they call it the ‘vegetarian’s bacon’, because its gorgeous smoked flavour gives an element of ‘bacon’ to the dish. It’s obviously much healthier though (if you missed the World Health Organisation’s report on the cancer-risk of processed meat, check it out here), and has the benefit of being iodine rich which is great for enhancing thyroid function and overall metabolic functioning.
All in all this pasta truly tastes amazing. And in under 15 minutes I think this will become a new weekly favourite for you too!
Want more tasty pasta’s?
Time for me to sign off, I hope your week is going great!
Creamy Leek and Asparagus Pasta
- 200 g soybean spaghetti
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large leek
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 1/2 c cashews + 2 c pasta cooking water
- 2 tsp smoked kelp
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Cracked black pepper
- Fresh dill to top + extra smoked kelp
- Boil your jug, and meanwhile pop your pasta in a pot. Pour boiling water over pasta, cover with a lid, bring to the boil again then reduce down and set your timer to 7 minutes. Now let's go and get this sauce done and dusted in 7…
- Turn your pan on a medium heat and add coconut oil. While that's warming up, slice your leek and pop it in the pan, sautéing gently (don't have it on high, you want your leek to sauté and go clear, not crispy and brown).
- While that’s cooking, put your garlic through a crusher or slice finely then pop in the pan for 2 more minutes.
- Now slice your asparagus into thirds (or quarters if they’re particularly large) – remember to crack off the stringy ends as they’re not too tasty (even for me, who eats every part of almost every fruit and vegetable bar banana skins). Pop on top of the leek, put the lid on, turn down to low and let steam through.
- Now pop your cashews in a blender with the lemon juice and salt. Your pasta will now be done, so strain it retaining two cups of the cooking water and pour this in your blender too – whiz on high for a minute until super creamy and smooth.
- Pour your sauce on top of the leek mix heating gently for a minute, then add your pasta, smoked kelp, cracked pepper to taste and stir through.
- Serve in warm bowls topped with cracked black pepper, fresh dill, more smoked kelp to sprinkle, and lemon wedges on the side. So good, you are going to love it!
- Make it nut free: use sunflower or watermelon seeds instead of cashews.
- Make it soy free: use a soy free pasta – see my ideas below!
- Make it keto/paleo: use zucchini or kelp noodles.
- For your pasta, you could also use Quinoa Pasta, Spelt Pasta, Rice Pasta, or any other wholefood/wholegrain pasta of your choice