Sautéed asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic combine with pasta and a light sauce in this low-fat plant-based meal. Optional ingredients add heartiness and protein. Feel free to use your choice of pasta, including gluten-free. (I used whole wheat spirals.)
Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water according to package instructions. Just before it's done, scoop out and reserve 1 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and return to pan.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the asparagus by snapping off the ends: Hold the bottom of the spear in one hand and grasp it with the other hand about 2 inches away. Bend the spear and allow it to break. Discard the ends, and then cut the asparagus into pieces about 1 1/2-inch long.
Heat a large covered skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook for a minute or two. Add 1/4 cup water and quickly cover. Allow the asparagus to steam for 2 minutes. Uncover and add the mushrooms. Add a splash of water if it seems dry and cover. Cook for about 2 minutes or until mushrooms exude their juices. (If it seems too dry, add a splash of water.) Uncover, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or two.
Add the vegetables to the pasta and combine well. Keep warm on the lowest heat setting.
Put 1 cup of the pasta water into a small saucepan. Place it over medium high heat and add the bouillion, basil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and red pepper. As it comes to a boil, whisk together the plant milk and starch in a small bowl and add it to the saucepan. Cook, stirring, until it boils and thickens slightly. Pour it over the pasta and vegetables, and stir to coat. If it seems dry, add a little of the remaining pasta water.
Check the seasonings and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Optional Soy Curls
Place soy curls and bouillon in a small saucepan and cover with water just until they begin to float. Bring to a boil and simmer until soy curls are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and press excess water out of soy curls. Add to the pasta just before serving.
Instead of soy curls, add 1 cup cooked chickpeas or frozen (thawed) green peas.
Toss a few leaves of fresh basil into pasta just before serving.
Nutrition Facts box does not include soy curls or other optional ingredients. One serving including soy curls contains 319 calories, 3g fat, 58g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 20g protein, 348mg sodium. All nutritional calculations use Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Broth; other bouillon may contain more or less sodium.Note: This recipe is 1 point on WW Purple plan without soy curls and 2 points with soy curls. The points will be higher on other plans.