Whole Grain Penne with Braised Kale and Cashew Alfredo

Recipe courtesy of Chef Keith Tyger of Wellesley College.

Ground cashews substitute for cream in this version of alfredo sauce. Use it as a lighter choice or swap out the Parmesan for nutritional yeast for an entirely vegan sauce. For additional protein, use Barilla Protein+™ pasta.

3 pounds Barilla Whole Grain Penne
6 cups chopped kale
3 cups roasted salted cashews
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups sliced button mushrooms
3 cups water
salt and white pepper
3 bunches fresh basil, julienned
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. In a high-speed blender, puree the cashews, garlic, and water. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, braise the kale and mushrooms until just tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For each serving, to order:

  1. Reheat about 1 cup pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to a pan with 1/4 cup cashew sauce and about 1/4 cup braised vegetables.
  2. If using nutritional yeast, mix in 1 tablespoon now. If using cheese, plate the pasta and garnish with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and some basil.