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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!
Cuisine Dairy-free, Italian, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword balsamic vinegar, broccoli rabe, cashews, chili, fall, fall winter, garlic, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, pasta, spring, truffle oil, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

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)

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.

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.