It had been one of those weeks. There was almost literally no real food left in the house. Crackers. Applesauce. And Asparagus. The first two don't really qualify as dinner, but who wants to eat nothing but an entire bundle of asparagus in one sitting? Not I. So after a long while of pondering and a short trip to the grocery store, I had a frozen burrito for dinner. That's what I get for not planning. I mean, I know that cashews don't have to soak nearly as long as some other nuts, but 2-4 hours (compared to 8-12 for almonds) is still too long to wait for dinner.
Fast-forward to tomorrow. Let's talk about the sauce. I drained my cashews, rinsed and drained again for good measure, then threw it into a blender with a bit of water (water prevents motor burn-out, but the nuts grind finer with less water). A bit of salt, a touch of pepper, some parsley and thyme, maybe some nutritional yeast, and of course lemon juice (or fresh-squeezed lemon and/or zest, if you wanna be fancy), then dilute to desired thickness. I minced and pan-fried the garlic in a bit of olive oil before throwing it in, but you could either add it to the sauce raw for more bite, or cook it with the veggies.
Get your water boiling for the pasta, then cut and sauté the veggies (I used asparagus and baby bellas, but you do you). At this point, the sauce (except for the garlic) is raw. I chose to heat mine a smidgen so the whole meal was warm and cozy, but you don't have to. As for plating/serving - I believe in you ;)
Don't want to guess at the proportions? Well.. I did (totally "wung it," in fact), but I'll try to estimate for you.
1 cup cashews
2 Tbsp lemon juice (or 1/2 lemon?)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
16 oz linguine (dry)
1 bundle of asparagus
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil