Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vegan lemon basil 'cream' sauce

Asparagus screams SPRING to me and Monday being the first full day of Spring I wanted to feature that lovely green vegetable in our dinner.  The sauce was put together with things that I routinely keep on hand, sort of a pantry sauce if you will.  The whole meal came together quickly which is a definite plus on a busy weeknight. 

Vegan lemon basil cream sauce
A Krista kitchen creation

Pasta of choice-ours was a rice penne
Broccoli florets
Asparagus, cut into 3" pieces
2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons diced red onion
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 12.5 oz block of soft tofu
2 lemons, juiced, zest reserved
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Vegan butter
Olive oil

Cook the pasta and set aside.  Bring a pot of water to boil, blanch the broccoli and asparagus and plunge into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

Combine the tofu, basil, 1/2 the garlic and 1/2 the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance butter and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a deep sauce pan and saute the red onion, stirring well to prevent burning.  Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, add the mushrooms, stir well and allow to soften.  Add the reserved lemon zest and stir well.   Add the zucchini and saute briefly before adding the sauce from the blender.  Season with sea salt and pepper, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for about five minutes.  Finally add the broccoli, asparagus and drained pasta, tossing well to coat the noodles and allow to warm through.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Garnish with more fresh basil.

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