Creamy Truffle Pasta with Balsamic-Roasted Broccoli Rabe

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 5 votes

Creamy truffle pasta with balsamic-roasted broccoli rabe comes together quickly and is so flavourful. Delicious and satisfying vegan dinner!

Vegan creamy truffle pasta with balsamic-roasted broccoli rabe

Still eating my carbs in 2020! Creamy truffle pasta, potatoes, and bagels for days over here.

If you are trying to give up dairy or just choose to not eat it, and you need an indulgent dinner fix, this creamy truffle pasta will blow your mind. We use a mix of raw cashews and peeled zucchini (!!) for the velvety pasta-hugging sauce of our dreams. Garlic, onions, nutmeg, truffle oil, and our old pal nutritional yeast bring the flavour. The whole pasta is smoothed out with some reserved pasta cooking water.

Half of the sauce base here is cooked zucchini. It keeps the consistency creamy, but just a touch lighter than the use of cashews alone. I feel like I rely on them SO heavily in savoury recipes and need to branch out. So this recipe is my super slow start at diversifying and trying new things :)

We top this indulgent and super creamy goodness with balsamic-roasted broccoli rabe. A nice heap of slightly bitter greens with sweet reduced balsamic vinegar in the mix… so good! This dinner is a total flavour and texture explosion. Broccoli rabe is honestly one of my favourite vegetables. I buy so much when the local Italian grocery store puts it on sale hehe. Of course, if you’d prefer regular broccoli here, that would also be delicious.

Other seriously creamy pasta recipes you may love: double rosé pasta with asparagus and kale, creamy truffle pasta with balsamic broccoli rabe, cauliflower pasta with roasted tomatoes, and creamy butternut orzo with roasted Brussels sprouts.

If you take this one over the top by also making some homemade vegan “parm,” you will definitely impress any plant-based or vegan skeptics in your life. It has so much flavour and the texture of the sauce is so velvety. If you’ve been trying Veganuary, let me know how it’s going in the comments. Always here to support you :)

Vegan creamy truffle pasta with balsamic-roasted broccoli rabe

Creamy Truffle Pasta with Balsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe

Creamy truffle pasta with balsamic-roasted broccoli rabe comes together quickly and is super flavourful. Totally vegan and super satsifying dinner recipe!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about ½ cup diced)
  • 1 small zucchini, peeled and diced (about 1 cup diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours + drained
  • 1 cup filtered water, plus extra
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil, plus more, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 12 oz pasta of choice
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • chili flakes, for serving (optional)
  • vegan “parm”, for serving (optional–see note)

Equipment

Notes

  • The only substitution suggestion I can offer for cashews is raw macadamia nuts or pine nuts. I know that these are likely even more expensive than cashews in most shopping scenarios, but they do have that same richness.
  • A recipe for vegan “parm” can be found here.

Instructions

  • Heat a large, deep saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the avocado oil to the pan and swirl it around. Add the onion to the pan and saute until edges are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue to stir and saute until the zucchini is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the sauteed vegetables to an upright, high speed blender. To the blender, add the drained cashews, water, lemon juice, truffle oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until totally smooth, about 1 full minute. Add more water by the tablespoon if necessary. Set the creamy truffle sauce aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Separate the thin leaves from the broccoli rabe stalks and cut off the woody ends. Cut the trimmed broccoli rabe stalks into 2-inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Toss the chopped stalks with 2 teaspoon of the avocado oil, 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread the coated pieces of broccoli rabe out on a large baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  • While the stalks are roasting, toss the thin broccoli rabe leaves in the remaining 2 teaspoons of avocado oil, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Really massage it in!
  • At the 10 minute mark, remove the roasted broccoli rabe stalks from the oven and stir them up a bit. Scatter the coated broccoli rabe leaves over top and return the baking sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the leaves soften and crisp up a bit on the edges.
  • While the broccoli rabe is roasting, prepare your pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
  • Wipe out the original large saute pan you were using and place it over medium heat. In the pan, combine the creamy truffle sauce and cooked pasta. Stir until the pasta is evenly hot and super creamy. Add splashes of pasta cooking water to loosen things up, if necessary.  Stir in ½ of the roasted broccoli rabe.
  • Serve the creamy truffle pasta hot with the remaining roasted broccoli rabe on top with chili flakes and vegan “parm” if you like.
Vegan creamy truffle pasta with balsamic-roasted broccoli rabe
08/01/2020 (Last Updated 18/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, bitter, broccoli, cashews, creamy, earthy, gluten free option, main course, pasta, quick, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, sauce, side dish, spring, umami, vegan, winter

11 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Anita

    5 stars
    This was unbelievably good and the best recipe that I’ve tried for broccoli rabe. Wow! Doesn’t even taste bitter. Thank you so much for sharing. I subbed yellow pepper for zucchini as I didn’t have any zucchini.

  • Lani

    This dish is SO good- I’ve made it a number of times now, and my 2-year-old also loves it. It’s been added to the weekly rotation! Thank you so much.

  • Meleyna

    Gah this sauce is so good!! I skipped the truffle oil but it was still super lush. I ate it over Banza, and just blanched some broccoli in the pasta water and drizzled some high quality balsamic over the top to streamline it a bit for a busy Wednesday night. Cozy vibes for sure.

  • Lana

    We made this last night and it was delicious – my 9-year-old loved it and asked for seconds with extra greens! I couldn’t get broccoli rabe anywhere in town yesterday so we used a combination of broccolini and gai lan, which worked out great. Thank you for sharing the recipe. :-)

  • dana

    dayuuummmmmm lady! lookin’ good!

  • Alex

    This looks outrageously delicious! I’m a huge fan of using cashews for creaminess myself, but feel no need to diversify ;)

  • Emily

    Quick question: Did you use white or black truffle oil? Thanks! Cannot wait to try this recipe!!!

    • Laura

      Hi Emily!
      I used white truffle oil.
      -L

  • Deborah Dewar

    Yes I have been doing Veganuary! I feel really great!!!! Do you have a good suggestion to replace cream in coffee?
    Thanks

    • Laren Cyphers

      Hi Deborah, my favorites are Oatly barista edition or the same thing from Califa Farms :) It bugs me so much when my creamer curdles in my coffee, and these two haven’t for me and are super creamy. A bit pricey for sure, but life changing for me and affordable when on sale. SO cool that you’ve been trying out Veganuary and are feeling great! Apologies for chiming in from left field.

    • Laura

      My favourite replacement for coffee creamer is nutpods! It’s an unsweetened creamer that is about as rich as it gets. Soy creamers are also quite rich, but always come sweetened. I also have a recipe for a full fat coconut milk-based creamer in my cookbook!
      -L