Home, Away From Home
It’s no secret that I love Italy. I’m pretty sure in another life I lived under the Tuscan sun. And I’m almost certain that I will live there again at some stage in this life. Until then I will cook up my favorite Italian recipes for a bit of nostalgia.
During my many travels back to my soul land, I used to love getting a dish called, Cacio e Pepe. It’s a creamy pasta that I absolutely adore and it translates to “cheese and pepper.” What could be better in Italy, right?
However, as someone with a gluten sensitivity, I no longer eat pasta, unless of course it is gluten free. And only if it is gluten free pasta by Jovial Foods. If you haven’t started using their products, go check them out. They use the finest ingredients and even have a farm in Tuscany where they grow some of their products. Ironic, huh?
So back to the dish. I decided to recreate this recipe by putting my own spin on things. Instead of the wheat pasta, I used brown rice pasta. And instead of the cheese, I used a lemony cashew cheese that provided the same creamy consistency.
And since there is an abundance of fresh local vegetables in my area at the moment, I also added some asparagus, peas and artichokes. Plus it added a nice touch of color. The final product, if I do say so myself, is a close rival to the real deal. There were even taste testers that very much agreed!
Meet Vinny, One of the Happy Taste Testers
CACIO e PEPE, MY WAY
makes 4 creamy dishes
1 can artichoke hearts
2 bunches asparagus
1 box gluten free pasta, use Jovial
1 bag fresh or frozen peas
1 ½ cup raw cashews
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided in half
2 cloves garlic, roasted (or raw)
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp coarse black cracked pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup water, filtered
Plus, extra S&P to taste
Marinate Artichoke Hearts
1. Chop artichokes
2. Then in a glass bowl, combine with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove garlic, and ½ tsp salt and pepper
3. Place in fridge to marinate while you are cooking
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
5. Cut asparagus into small, thin slices of different angles and shapes
6. Transfer to a casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
7. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and roast for about 12-15 minutes
Make Lemony Cashew Sauce
8. Boil cashews for 15 minutes
9. In a high speed blender, combine cashews, 1 tsp sea salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, clove of garlic, ACV and water
10. Add water slowly to get desired consistency
11. Set to the side, chill if desired
The Final Steps
12. Boil peas (if frozen) and gluten free pasta together, strain
13. Combine asparagus, peas, pasta, marinated artichoke hearts, and lemony cashew sauce in a large bowl plus additional black pepper to taste
14. Mix well and serve immediately
*Using raw garlic in the cashew sauce can be pretty potent for some people. Roast it in the oven with the asparagus to tone it down a bit.
This recipe was created by Jessica Yeager, CNE.
What’s your favorite Italian dish? I want to make it over! Leave a message in the comments below and let me know!