From the Pan into the Fire

Culinary Wanderings in Gluten Free Living

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That Pesky Dried Asparagus
A while back I got some dried asparagus. We've tried it a couple of times with not so much success. It was very fibrous and inedible even when well cooked. I've been experimenting with making pasta sauces from dried vegetables for the past year and figured it was worth trying one with asparagus. When ground in the spice grinder, the dried asparagus turned into a fine powder that is perfect for my purposes. The following recipe makes a nice creamy pasta side dish that serves 2 or 3. If serving as a main dish, you might want to add a bit of protein of your choice. We made this up with Sam Mill's corn pasta which cooks fairly quickly.

Creamy Asparagus Mushroom Cashew Pasta Sauce Mix

1 cup dried asparagus pieces
1 cup loosely packed mixed dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons dried celery
1 tablespoon dried red pepper (or dried carrot)
2 tablespoons dried tomato flakes
3 tablespoons dried leeks
1 tablespoon dried shallots
1/4 teaspoon dried garlic

3/4 cup cashew meal (found at Trader Joe's) or ground raw cashews

1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon savory
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon French Four Spice (or quatre epices)
1 tablespoon salt

Grind up the dried veggies in a spice grinder or blender and dump into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the cashew meal and seasonings. Makes a bit more than 2 cups. Store in an airtight container.

To use: Add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup of mix to a 1 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 1 and 3/4 cups pasta of choice, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and cook until pasta is done. Depending on how long it takes the pasta to cook you may or may not need to cover the pan. Sauce should thicken as it cooks.


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