Pasta with Parsnips & Shiitake Bacon

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I love finding recipes like this one in The New York Times and veganizing them. This one was so super easy, I wonder why anyone would eat a little piggie or use cow milk when there is shiitake bacon and cashew cream.

Now, to make this happen, you have to time it right. You will be roasting the parsnips (can you even see them under all of that creaminess?) and the mushrooms so when they are about halfway done, get the pasta going. Have the cashew cream ready so that in less than 30 minutes, you will have dinner!

Serves 2

1 big parsnip or 2 little ones
12 shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons olive oil
Pinch of salt
Campanelle pasta, enough for 2 (Farfalle could work here too!)
1 leek
1/2 cup cashew cream *
Handful nutty parm
Fresh chopped parsley, a big handful

Preheat the oven to 400.

Peel and cut the parsnips into 1/2″ cubes. Destem and slice the shiitakes the long way. Toss in olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Turn out onto a lined baking sheet and roast until the parsnips are golden and the shiitakes are crispy. Check at the 15 minute mark and take the shiitakes out if they are already crispy.

Get the pasta going.

Slice the leek, using both the white and green parts, and clean out any sand. Cut in half and then slice into half moons. Sauté in a pan with sides, either on oil or water, until bright and soft. Add the cashew cream.

Lift it out of the pot with a spider strainer and drop it into the leek/cashew cream mix. Add pasta water to thin the cream out, as much as you like.

Add the parsnips, shiitakes, a sprinkle of nutty parm, some of the parsley and toss well. Remove from the heat and top with more parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

*To make cashew cream, add 1/2 cup cashews to the Vitamix and cover with water, about 1 cup. Process until creamy. You will have cashew cream left over from this recipe. If you don’t have a Vitamix, get one! Or, soak cashews for 4 hours or overnight. Drain and add to the blender with new water.

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