Some days I just want a big, gooey creamy pasta dish, but since I try to steer clear of both gluten and cream when cooking at home, I was seeking another way to satisfy my craving. I have been trying different recipes with gluten free pasta lately. It is tasteless, but serves the purpose when all you want is a vehicle for sauce.
In this dish, rather than cream and butter, we use a small amount of silken tofu and rice milk. (We’ll use the remainder of our silken tofu in tomorrow’s recipe). This isn’t a white cream sauce per se, but the tofu-rice milk mixture provides a creamy backbone that is so much richer than just some stir fried veggies over pasta.
I tweaked this recipe based on one from Christina Pirello in Cooking the Whole Foods Way. What I loved about this dish is the way the sauce really sticks and flavors the pasta. You never end up with bites of naked, flavorless noodles, even if your vegetables sink to the bottom. I loved her use of mirin for its sweetness and the way it brings out the flavor of the asparagus.
Wannabe Bad and Gooey Sun-Dried Tomato, Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 to 3 c mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 to 12 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/4 c mirin
1/4 c vegetable broth
4 oz silken tofu
1/2 c rice milk
1/4 c minced flat leaf parsley
1 lb dried pasta (in a fun, twirly shape is ideal, regular or gluten free is fine)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook until vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add mirin and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Whisk tofu and rice milk parsley until blended. Stir mixture into skillet, season lightly with salt and summer until liquid is reduced to sauce consistency, about 8 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions just until tender to the bite. Drain well and toss with sauce.