Who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta? Pasta is comfort food, but jarred sauces, heavy meats, and enriched ingredients can make you feel bloated. Not to mention, jarred sauce contains way too much sodium, unhealthy fats, and processed ingredients. That’s why it’s important to make your own sauce and go a little lighter with your ingredients to avoid belly bloat and food coma.
For this recipe, the sauce is a lemon/olive oil-based sauces that you prepare without heat. The addition of dijon mustard adds a little extra bite to this sauce, and it complements the shallots, garlic, and asparagus quite nicely. Typically, pasta dishes like this one contain cheese. Since this is a vegan recipe, nutritional yeast is the substitute, but it still offers that signature cheesy flavor. In fact, feel free to sprinkle a little extra nutritional yeast on the pasta when it’s complete for extra cheesiness.
Don’t worry about missing the meat in this pasta recipe! Not only do the chopped walnuts add texture and a slightly nutty flavor, but they also make this pasta meatier. The capers bring a wonderful briny flavor to the pasta, playing off that spicy dijon mustard and acidic lemon juice in the sauce. Adding the capers in with the herbs towards the end means that they won’t cook as much. That helps them retain their briny flavor, which this pasta desperately needs. Now, if you don’t like capers, feel free to omit them from the recipe. You can achieve the same briny flavor by adding olives instead.
For the Sauce
- 2 lemons
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
For the Pasta
- 10 -12 ounces of linguine
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 bunch asparagus , sliced thinly on a bias
- 1/2 c roasted walnuts, chopped
- 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 c Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 c basil leaves
- 2 tbsp. capers, drained
For the Sauce
- Start off zesting one of the lemons and setting that zest aside. You\'ll need to sauté the zest with other pasta ingredients.
- Add the juice from both lemons to a small bowl along with all of the other sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine and taste to adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside while you prepare the pasta.
For the Pasta
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the linguine until al dente, reserving one cup of pasta water before you strain the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant (about four minutes).
- Add the red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for an additional minute before adding the asparagus. Cook for about three minutes before adding the lemon zest, which you zested earlier. Cook for another three minutes.
- Pour the pasta water into the pan, along with the lemon sauce. Add the walnuts and nutritional yeast as well, mixing to combine.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to thoroughly combine everything.
- Toss in the parsley, basil, and capers, cooking for one minutes and tossing frequently.
- Serve in separate bowls and enjoy immediately.