Rigatoni Alla Julio

A comforting Italian pasta dish – soft tubes of rigatoni, succulent chicken style strips and mushrooms coated in a creamy cashew sauce

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 3 cups vegan chicken strips (I used Fry’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot (finely minced)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked, drained & rinsed)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp cornflour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup green beans (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan (finely grated)
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 cups dried rigatoni
  • Fresh basil (chopped)
  • Fresh parsley (chopped)

Method

Cook your chicken strips according to the instructions. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped shallot. Soften for 3-4 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and the sliced mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms have cooked down. De-glaze the pan with the white wine.

Meanwhile blend together the soaked cashews, the milk and the cornflour until the cashews have blended into a liquid. Add to the mushroom pan.

Add a bay leaf, the chopped green beans, the cream cheese and the parmesan, followed by the herbs, salt, white pepper, black pepper and nutmeg. Stir everything together well. Simmer for 10 minutes on a medium heat until the sauce has thickened, stirring throughout. Add a 1/4 cup of water if it starts getting too dry.

Put the pasta on to boil in salted water. Once cooked, drain thoroughly and add to the sauce pan along with the chicken strips. Remove the bay leaf. Stir until all the pasta is well covered in sauce and let it heat through for another minute before serving.

Top with the freshly chopped basil and parsley, more grated parmesan and ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Rigatoni alla Julio 3Rigatoni alla Julio 1

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