Sweet, tender, summer asparagus… how good are they? If it’s spring or summer near you, make the most with this quick easy Leek and Asparagus Fettuccine Alfredo.
Here are three reasons this pasta is one you’ll want to add to your repertoire. It’s:
- High protein, without having to “add” a protein (thanks to Explore Asia‘s incredible legume pasta)
- Naturally gluten free and low in carbohydrates
- Creamy like an alfredo should be, just without the dairy
All it’ll take you is 15 sweet minutes – exactly what you need for a speedy dinner fix.
How to make this Leek and Asparagus Fettuccine Alfredo
But isn’t pasta bad for you?
Yes, and no.
Pasta has developed a bad rep for being something that’s high in carbs, devoid of nutrients, and not a healthy addition to your diet. However, it doesn’t need to be so. While most store-bought pasta is made with refined white wheat flour and indeed high on the carb content (around 90% carbohydrate), many new types of pastas have cropped up in the last 10 years. No longer are the days of old when all we had to choose from was spaghetti, fettuccine, or macaroni – now you can opt for wholemeal wheat, brown rice, quinoa, legume, and even sorghum. All of which offer a much more balanced nutritional profile.
One type I particular love is legume, pulse or bean pasta. Made from edamame soy beans, mung beans, black beans, borlotti beans, and red lentils to name a few, these pastas are super high in protein, lower in carbohydrates, and naturally gluten free. Doing away with most of the issues most people have with pasta.
To compare 100 grams of standard white wheat pasta with 100 grams of pulse pasta, here’s the line-up of nutritional info:
|Nutrient||White wheat pasta||Legume pasta||Difference|
In other words – 3 ½ times the protein (more than twice that of a chicken breast), 7 ½ times more fibre, and 1/5th of the carbs.
The brand I use is Explore Asia, sourced by a local company here in NZ called Ceres Organics. So, when Ceres contacted me asking if I’d like to develop a recipe for them using their legume-based pastas, I was all in. I’ve made this leek and asparagus alfredo with their Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine. It’s 100% organic, contains 21 grams of protein per serve (the same as 100g of cooked chicken), and unlike most gluten-free pasta, cooks up perfectly al dente – no worries of a gluggy overcooked mess. All with just two ingredients – edamame beans and mung beans. So next time you’re making your favourite pasta (or this alfredo), try swapping out your standard wheat pasta for a high protein, low carb pulse alternative. It’s plant protein made seriously easy.
Ingredients for this leek and asparagus fettuccine alfredo
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fettuccine (made from pulses)
- Dijon mustard
- Nutritional yeast
What is alfredo sauce normally made of?
My alfredo is a little different to the regular, obviously. Traditional alfredo is made butter, cream, and parmesan cheese – sometimes with the addition of garlic and parsley. My alfredo instead uses cashews to create the buttery cream, and lemon, Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and salt to create the cheese. A little different yes, but entirely delicious.
How is alfredo different to carbonara or béchamel?
I literally didn’t know this either – I used to think they were all just creamy white sauces. But there are some distinct differences.
- Alfredo is made by cooking down butter, cream, and parmesan cheese, sometimes with the addition of garlic and parsley.
- Carbonara instead uses pasta cooking water with the addition of raw eggs and grated cheese.
- Béchamel meanwhile is a French sauce, made from a roux of butter, flour and milk.
Substitution ideas for this fettuccine alfredo
But Buff – I don’t have those ingredients where I live! Fret not – here are your substitution ideas.
- Edamame fettuccine – choose another pulse based fettuccine, a wholemeal wheat fettuccine, or just another pasta shape – spirals, elbows, penne, macaroni will all work. You could also go super low cal and opt for zucchini noodles if you have a spiraliser at home.
- Leek – regular brown onion, finely chopped, makes a fine sub here.
- Asparagus – broccoli, zucchini, green beans, mushrooms – any soft vege really.
- Cashews – hemp seeds or sunflower seeds for a nut-free alternative, or do a 50:50 mix of both.
- Lemon – a dash of apple cider vinegar will do the trick.
- Nutritional yeast – stir through a handful of grated cheese (vegan or otherwise), or just omit it.
How to store your leftover leek and asparagus fettuccine alfredo
Any leftovers will last in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for 2 months. You can also make double the alfredo sauce, and freeze this separately – ready for your next pasta affair.
Love creamy pastas? Try these next:
If you make this leek and asparagus fettuccine alfredo, let me know! Leave a rating and comment below (it helps others find the recipe too), and if you’re a social fan, post yours on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, and tag me @begoodorganics. I can’t wait to hear how you go.
- 200 g fettuccine (edamame, legume or wholemeal)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small leeks sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 bunches asparagus sliced
- ½ c cashews + 1 c pasta cooking water
- ½ lemon flesh
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- Boil the jug and place your pasta in a large pot. Cover the pasta generously with boiling water, put on the lid, then cook for 7 minutes or according to packet directions.
- Add the olive oil to a large pan, and sauté the sliced leeks on low. Add the crushed garlic. Break or cut off the woody ends of the asparagus, then slice into thirds or quarters. Place on top of the leek, put the lid on, then steam until tender and bright green.
- Blend the sauce ingredients with some of the reserved pasta cooking water in a blender, for 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Add to the leek mix, heat gently, then add the pasta and stir through. Serve immediately.
- Nut free: Use hemp or sunflower seeds instead of cashews.
- Oil free: Sauté the leeks in a little water instead of olive oil.