Asparagus, Carrots, and Olives with Penne and a Chipotle Lemon Bean Sauce
1 lb Penne, whole wheat (or any whole grain pasta)
3 lbs Asparagus, fresh
1 lb carrots (divided: 1/2 lb sliced, ½ lb blended in sauce)
1 cup Lemon Juice
1 cup Water
1-15 oz can Cannellini Beans (White Kidney), drained
1-2 Chipotle Peppers (Smoked Jalapenos), stems removed
2/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 ½ tbsp Corn Starch
1-6oz can Ripe Olives
We cook this recipe in our microwave oven (except pasta), but it can also be prepared in an electric wok or on the stove top with a little water and constant stirring. Before the sauce and pasta are added the heat should be reduced to "simmer".
Wash and peel ½ pound of carrots. Cut into slices and place in a large covered glass or ceramic baking dish for cooking in a microwave oven. Peel and cut the onions into small pieces (not diced) and add to the cooking dish or pot. Cook on "high" until the onions begin to get translucent (about 5 minutes).
While the onions and carrots are cooking, wash and remove the bottom 1/2 inch of the asparagus stalks. Cut into 1-inch pieces and place in the covered baking dish with the carrots and onions. Cover the dish and cook for about another 10 minutes (mix after 5 minutes) on "high" or until the asparagus becomes tender.
While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta in a separate pot of water on the stovetop until the pasta is tender but still a little chewy.
At the same time, prepare the sauce in a blender. Add the water, lemon juice, cannellini beans, ½ pound of washed and peeled carrots, chipotle peppers, nutritional yeast, and cornstarch. Blend at high speed until smooth.
Slice the olives and set aside.
When the asparagus, carrots and onions are cooked, add the lemon sauce and olives and cook again until the sauce thickens.
Add the cooked and drained pasta and the sliced olives and mix thoroughly. If the sauce is too "watery", heat again in the microwave for a few minutes to absorb the excess liquid (mix well and repeat as necessary).