A creamy yet light vegan pasta dish with flavours of fresh lemon and basil. Spinach and mange tout are flashed with heat to keep their natural crunch, whilst the butternut squash is roasted to perfection in olive oil and plentiful black pepper.There are times when you crave something creamy and rich but don’t want that sluggish feeling that more often than not accompanies such an indulgence. Thankfully this dish fulfils the criteria of being satisfying and filling whilst staying light through using oat milk in place of cream and fresh by adding fresh lemon juice to cut through the richness. The sauce the vegetables are cooked in for this dish doesn’t thicken too much so you could add a little cornflour to achieve a richer sauce if you wanted.
For the recipe I used Oatly, a Swedish brand of oat milk that I picked up in my local Waitrose. I love the packaging and their straight-forward approach to talking about what they do and labelling their products. Who knew but the Nordic climate is perfect for growing oats as are the farming practices common in Sweden, which you can read more about on their website here. Already low in pesticides and heavy metals, Oatly is also available in an organic variety and in a chocolate-flavoured variety, as well as both fresh and long-life varieties. Unfortunately the chocolate Oatly isn’t stocked anywhere near me but I’ll be keeping an eye open for it. Serves 4.
250g wholewheat fusilli or pasta of your choice
1 butternut squash, cut into small cubes
2 shallots or 1 white onion, finely chopped
175g mange tout, ends trimmed
125g baby spinach leaves
250ml oat milk (or milk of your choice)
4tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of fresh basil
1 tbsp pine nuts
2tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 200C / gas mark 6. Add 3tbsp of the oil to a roasting dish, heat in the oven for a few minutes then add the cubes of butternut squash and black pepper. Mix well and return to the oven. Roast for around twenty minutes, until the cubes are tender and golden brown.
2. In the meantime, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and sea salt. Stir once. Cook until al dente (time according to pasta instructions).
3. In a large frying pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the shallots or onion. Once they have softened, add the garlic and mange tout. Cook for a further three minutes.
4. Turn the heat up slightly and slowly add the oat milk, stirring constantly. Simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the spinach leaves. Once the leaves have wilted, add in the fresh basil and lemon juice. Stir and serve on top of the pasta with a sprinkling of pine nuts.What is your favourite plant-based milk for cooking with?