Pasta with Vegan Cream Sauce
Why I Love This Recipe
A creamy pasta served with pepper and lemon.
Ingredients You'll Need
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 garlic cloves, 1 whole, 4 thinly sliced
2 sprigs rosemary
2 15.5-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
12 oz. paccheri, rigatoni, or other large tubular pasta
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add walnuts and red pepper flakes and cook until nuts are deeply golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and grate in whole garlic clove; set aside.
Combine ¼ cup oil and remaining sliced garlic in pot, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Firmly crush rosemary in your hand - add to pot along with beans and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are just beginning to take on color, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes less than package directions.
Transfer 1 cup pasta water to pot with beans (make sure to keep heat on medium so that the liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly). Using a spoon, gently mash about three-quarters of beans into a creamy sauce.
Transfer pasta to pot with beans and add 1 cup pasta water and 2 Tbsp. oil; mix well to combine. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring gently until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. (Sauce might look soupy but will thicken as it sits so don’t worry!) Finely grate in about one-quarter of zest from lemon, then cut lemon in half. Squeeze in juice from 1 lemon half and add parsley; mix well to combine.
Divide pasta among bowls. Drizzle with oil, season with black pepper, and top with reserved nut mixture.