Asparagus Linguine with Almond Crisp

Asparagus Linguine with Almond Crisp
Recipe found at http://thetolerantvegan.com/2012/07/asparagus-linguine-with-almond-crisp/ 

Serves 4

Almond Crisp Ingredients:

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute, melted
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Pasta Ingredients:

  • 1 pound linguine, uncooked
  • 1 pound asparagus cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 8 ounces arugula, stemmed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Make the crisp at least a 1/2 hour, and up to one day ahead of time. It needs to cool and harden in the refrigerator before you can move on to the rest.

Crisp Directions:

To make the crisp, first roast the garlic. I like to follow this easy method from Simply Recipes.  

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Peel the outer layers of the head of garlic, leaving the skin on the individual cloves.
  3. Place the head of garlic on a pan or in a muffin/cupcake tin.
  4. Sprinkle the olive oil over the head of garlic
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cloves soften.
  6. Allow the garlic to cool a bit, then use your finger or a fork to pull the roasted cloves out of their skin.
  7. In a bowl, stir together the roasted garlic cloves, melted Earth Balance, bread crumbs, salt and red pepper.
  8. Gently stir in the almonds.
  9. Cover the crisp and refrigerate it until it hardens.

Pasta Directions:

  1. Boil the linguine according to package directions.
  2. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, then drain and rinse the cooked linguine.
  3. In a large pan, saute the olive oil and asparagus over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, vegetable broth, soy sauce and reserved pasta water.
  5. Allow the ingredients to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta, arugula, lemon zest and fresh mint.
  7. Pour the pasta into a large bowl.
  8. Reheat the pan and add in the almond crisp.
  9. Cook the crisp until it browns, roughly 3-4 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat and toss half of the crisp in with the pasta.
  11. Serve the pasta, using the remaining almond crisp as a garnish.
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