As we wait patiently (or not so patiently) for spring, I’m sharing what feels like a bit of a last-hurrah for winter recipes. This pasta with walnut cream sauce came out of one of my instagram recipes. People liked it so much, I felt like it deserved a place on the site. It’s rich sauce is vegan, but I think that makes the creaminess even more amazing.
Walnut Cream, the real star
In all the nut-based alternative creams/cheeses, walnut cream reigns supreme in my life. I love the warm flavor and how nicely it purees into a smooth sauce. The softness of the walnuts is also your friend here. I find the walnuts only need a good hot soak for about an hour.
Of course, if you’re not on the walnut-wagon, you can use a more milder cashew cream or even an almond cream.
Sweet potatoes (and other veg)
I realize that as I’m posting this recipe, you’re probably over sweet potatoes and ready for spring. I’m with you, but I have a few more to use before I dive head first into spring. Swap the sweet potatoes for winter squash or try it with some steamed greens like kale or chard.
Finally, if pasta isn’t your jam, you could turn this into a delicious grain bowl. I’d plan to cut the sauce in half and use more as a drizzle and less as a sauce. Use a hearty grain here, like sorghum or wheat berries.
Rich and creamy pasta that is 100% vegan with help from a delicious walnut cream sauce.
Walnut Cream Sauce
½ cup walnuts
1 medium shallot, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ to 1 cup pasta water
1 lb cubed sweet potatoes (peeling optional)
1 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary, plus extra for topping
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces pasta
Chili flakes, for finishing
- At least one hour before making the pasta, cover the walnuts with warm water.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Cover a large sheet tray with parchment and place the sweet potatoes on part and the sliced shallots on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil and salt. Keeping the shallots separate from the sweet potatoes, toss until the sweet potatoes and shallots are both well coated. Add pepper to the sweet potatoes and toss again.
- Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, checking on the shallots and removing from the tray when soft. Continue roasting the sweet potatoes until soft and starting to brown, another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cook the pasta until done. Drain and reserve the water.
- When everything is done, drain the walnuts and place in a blender along with the roasted shallots, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, and ¾ cup of the pasta water. Puree until smooth, adding more pasta water to thin as desired.
- Add ¾ of the sweet potatoes to the pasta along with the walnut cream sauce. Toss until everything is well combined. Top with remaining sweet potatoes, extra rosemary, and chili flakes (as desired).
The pasta sauce with be absorbed into the pasta quickly. You may need to add a splash or two more of the pasta water as needed. Also, because of this, the pasta is usually better assembled and eaten in the same day.
Keywords: sweet potato pasta, walnut cream sauce, vegan pasta