This delicious vegan pasta primavera is just one sample recipe from Robin Robertson’s wonderful new book, Nut Butter Universe.
I love how this fresh spring to summer recipe is so nutrient-dense, indulgent enough for weekend enjoyment yet speedy enough to make on a weeknight, and how it can also be adapted to other free-from needs, such as gluten-free, or the options included in our notes below.
This vegan pasta primavera calls for penne, but you can substitute any bite-sized pasta – including a gluten-free variety! We really like Trader Joe’s or Sam Mills Gluten-Free Pasta for recipes like this one, and they do offer a penne. Whichever pasta you choose, enjoy it immediately. The sauce may begin to brown if made in advance.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Pasta Primavera
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For nut-free vegan pasta primavera, substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews and rice milk or coconut milk beverage for the almond milk.
- 12 to 16 ounces penne pasta (semolina or gluten-free)
- 1-1/2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 small zucchini or yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch dice
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup hot vegetable broth or water, or more if needed
- 1 to 2 ripe Hass avocados, halved and pitted
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper
- Plain unsweetened cashew milk (such as So Delicious Dairy Free Cashew Milk Beverage; can sub Coconut Milk Beverage or other milk alternative of choice), if needed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil leaves or parsley
- Whole fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Cook the penne in a large pot of salted boiling water until it is tender, about 10 minutes (time may vary with gluten-free pasta - see package for times). About 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the broccoli and carrots. About 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the zucchini. Drain the cooked pasta and vegetables well and return to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the drained cashews, garlic, and broth in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and well blended.
- Peel and pit the avocado and add it to the food processor along with the scallions, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Process until smooth and creamy. For a thinner sauce, add some almond milk, if needed. For a thicker sauce, add additional avocado. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Add the sauce to the pot containing the drained cooked pasta and vegetables. Add the tomatoes and chopped basil and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately, garnished with the whole basil leaves.