Okay, this was good, but there was something my taste buds were missing! Albeit I am a garlic lover, and maybe my palate is a bit discriminatory, I thought I’d try again with garlic and a couple other tweaks. Adding a bit of onion, coconut milk (for creaminess) and mushrooms, a bit more nutritional yeast and a pinch of marjoram (after all, this is an Italian dish!). I also grilled the asparagus in the broiler after marinading it, as below:
1/4 cup minced onion
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup raw cashews (you can also use walnuts)
2 large cloves garlic
1 Tbs. lemon or lime juice
2/3 cup Chardonnay wine
1/3 cup coconut milk (adds creaminess)
1.5 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch of fresh marjoram
2-3 mushrooms sliced
4 Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp. salt (you can eliminate if you are on a low salt diet)
6 oz. uncooked fettuccine
1 cup baby spinach
12 small or 6 large asparagus spears (1/4 lb.)
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I can’t tolerate too much pepper in one meal so I didn’t use this)
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil for the fettuccine noodles.
Make the sauce:
Mince the onion and saute in 2 Tbs. olive oil.
Blend nuts, garlic, black pepper, marjoram, and lemon juice in a food processor until finely ground.
Add the ground mixture to the onion and saute a minute or two.
Add Chardonnay, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, mushrooms and salt and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, make pasta: Now put your fettuccine in boiling water according to package directions.
Bring 1/4 cup water to a simmer in small skillet. Add spinach, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Keep warm. (I made things simple here, I just added the spinach to the boiling water for the pasta and then fished them out with a fork before I cooked the pasta)
Cut the asparagus in half and rub some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze a bit of lemon or lime on it. Now grill the asparagus in the broiler on foil for approximately 7 minutes, turning once. Grill bell pepper strips 2 minutes, or until wilted. Keep warm.
Drain fettuccine, and return to pot. Toss with Sauce, and divide between 2 plates. Top each serving with wilted spinach, asparagus, and bell pepper strips.
I’m sure adding the coconut milk upped the caloric and fat content of the original recipe, but I found it more creamy. Also, if you remember my previous post, coconut is very good for you even if it has saturated fat. I didn’t understand grinding the nuts with water and then draining and discarding them? so I didn’t do that, just added the ground nuts to the recipe or don’t use them if you have a nut allergy or add less if you are trying to cut down on fat. I, personally, can’t get enough crunchy nuts! They add protein and if you use whole wheat pasta, you have a complete protein meal!