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Sometimes, there is nothing more gratifying than a hearty, rich and bright pasta dish in the winter time. We have taken a simple recipe and elevated it with a fresh lemon flavor in a silky cashew cream sauce. Read on... don't let cashew cream distract you.
Almost any long cut of pasta will do, but right now, our favorite is Organic Pici Toscaniby Sogno Toscano. Sogno Toscano has a small family farm in Bolgheri, Tuscany. Sogno Toscano prides itself on its authentically and traditionally prepared ingredients, and is dedicated to improving their product selections based on Italian cultural traditions.
Pici, a traditional Tuscan pasta, is often prepared with a traditional cacio e pepe or ragu. Produced with high quality 100% durum wheat semolina from the Orcia valley and extracted by bronze dyes, the Pici are slowed dried, then hand packed. The pasta cook time of around 20 minutes will create the perfect "al dente" pasta that will hold the sauce like no other pasta you have had before. If the vegan lemon cream sauce isn't in the cards for you, this Pici pasta is also perfect tossed with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic.
There are many variations of lemon pasta. Many recipes call for heavy cream, but we wanted to give cashew cream sauce a try. You can always substitute the cashew cream for heavy cream with this recipe. We were pleasantly surprised that we were able to accomplish the same creamy flavor without the dairy to create this vegan option. The flavor magic happens when dressing the sauce with the bright lemon flavor of fresh lemons and our Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Frantoio D'Orazio. Infused olive oils are perfect for creating an additional layer of flavor when creating a dish using the fresh version of infused oil. We love the Frantoio D'Orazio family. They are a small producer of not only high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils, but also infused olive oils from the countryside region of Puglia.
The combination of the bright lemon flavor mixed with the warm creamy sauce is an addicting combination that we are sure you will love.
17 oz Organic Pici Toscani
1 cup raw cashews (or 1 cup heavy cream)
1 tablespoon Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of One Lemon
Juice of 2-3 large lemons
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 - 3 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
10 oz package English Peas (can also substitute normal peas or asparagus)
1. Add 1 cup raw cashews to boiling water and boil for 30 minutes.
2. Add boiled cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, pepper, garlic, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano (optional), and 1 cup water to blender. Blend until smooth. (You may need to add more water to get to desired consistency)
3. Transfer lemon cream sauce to saucepan over low heat until ready to serve. Stir every so often.
4. Add Organic Pici Toscani to salted boiling water. This pasta takes a bit longer to cook than others, so stir every so often and leave in water for about 20-23 minutes.
5. If you choose to add English peas or asparagus, boil for approximately 5 minutes.
6. Drain peas and sautee with garlic and olive oil for additional 2-3 minutes.
7. Once pasta is ready, drain, add back into pot and add a few tablespoons of lemon cream sauce.
8. Stir in lemon cream sauce. Add more or less dependent on desired amount. You will have some extra cream sauce.
9. Serve pasta topped with peas and Parmigiano Reggiano. (If you are sticking with the vegan trend, leave out the Parmigiano)
10. Drizzle with a Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Mangia and Enjoy!
Looking for more specialty pastas? Check out of variety of imported Italian Pasta.
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