|Artichokes and a creamy sauce make this pasta pure comfort food.|
This was almost a vegan recipe. Until I added the bacon. Non-carnivores, I'm sorry. I couldn't resist. (Edit: I've returned to the fold now that my hip has healed completely.) I was standing there (quite innocent!) in my humble little kitchen stirring this velvety cream sauce (that I'd just improvised with some leftover sweet potato) listening to my pick-me-up when I'm draggin' 80's playist (Phil Collins, The Church, Suzanne Vega, Tears For Fears, Wham! and Simple Minds) when I remembered the smoky gluten-free and casein-free Sunday bacon Steve had cooked earlier.
And that, as they say in Guy Ritchie land, was Bob's yer uncle. And speaking of Tears For Fears- I have one quick question. Does everybody want to rule the world? Because to me, it seems like too much work.
For those of you who are fans of my Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe and well acquainted with nutritional yeast- a fab source of those requisite B vitamins and a non-dairy sort-of-but-not-exactly cheesy nutty flavor spike for those us lucky enough to live gluten and casein-free by celiac necessity or neuro-different choice (or hope or, I don't know why it works it just does) you'll love this variation on a vegan cheese sauce theme.
The sweet potato adds body, color, and flavor (not to mention those beneficial beta carotenes). And this sauce- unlike my favorite Cheesy Uncheese Sauce- does not contain any flour. The sweet potato acts as a thickener. Which I suppose makes it more South Beach friendly, too, with less refined carbs (sweet potato is a lower glycemic carbohydrate) if you serve it over low carb pasta or roasted cauliflower.
|Creamy gluten-free sauce on brown rice pasta.|
A Creamy Sauced Pasta with Artichokes and Bacon
Vegans and non-pork people- leave off the bacon and this recipe is vegan non-dairy goodness on a plate.
For the pasta- to serve four:
1 package of your favorite brown rice pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 artichoke hearts
8 strips Applegate Farms GF/CF bacon- cooked ahead of time, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
Put on a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add in the garlic and artichoke hearts and cook lightly until slightly golden. Add in the bacon pieces and scallions; stir; heat through; keep warm.
Drain the pasta and spoon into warm bowls. Top with the artichoke mixture and sauce- recipe follows.
For the Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce you'll need:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cooked sweet potato puree
2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain hemp milk (or rice milk- but it's thinner, less creamy)
4 rounded tablespoons good tasting nutritional yeast- I use KAL brand
1 rounded tablespoon of sesame tahini- may omit if allergic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more, to taste
A good dash or two of Simply Organic Garlic Powder, to taste
A good dash or two of Simply Organic Minced Onion, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon gluten-free Dijon or honey mustard, or to taste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lemon juice- to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika (for orange) or turmeric (for yellow) color- may omit
1/4 cup white wine, to taste (Frey Organic is vegan/egg-free)
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat, and stir in the sweet potato (I like to use a whisk to do this). Slowly add in the hemp milk, whisking to blend the sweet potato and hemp milk.
Add the nutritional yeast, sesame tahini, sea salt, garlic and onion powder, mustard, vinegar/lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika/turmeric, wine; whisk to blend.
Continue heating and stirring the sauce over gentle heat for about five to ten minutes. Taste test. Does it need a hint more salt? Wine?
Stir and gently heat through until the sauce has thickened and reduced a bit to your liking.
Remove from heat and use on pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables or casserole fillings.
Makes about three cups sauce.