My favorite thing in the world is not food. (I know, you’re surprised.) It’s not cooking or writing, music or dancing, though those are close. No, what has always been my favorite thing in the world ispeople. Because to me, people are fascinating. Learning their stories and connecting over what it means to be human is one of the more precious things in life. It’s what drove me out of a music career, solitary and isolating, into journalism school. I wanted to write about people and what they were doing to shape the world. Meeting a new person is always a bright spot for me. I’m almost euphoric after meeting a stranger and connecting over their story.
And that’s where food comes in for me because food, essentially, is people. Food is a connection point for strangers and friends. It’s grown by people, transported by people, prepared by people and enjoyed with people. We just visited Portland, a city chock full of some of the best food out there — but to us the food was nothing without the people it was shared with. (Huge hugs to Dana & Jon, Robyn & fam, and Krysta!) Chips and salsa and margaritas are empty without friends to laugh over them with; kale nourish bowls are nothing without hearing friends’ stories.
Many of the recipes on our blog were created with people or for people. This recipe is dedicated to the people who have inspired us throughout the years to keep writing this blog: our friends and family, fellow bloggers, and you, dear readers. It’s a creamy almond milk pasta to be shared with loved ones; our thought in keeping it vegan and dairy-free was that it could appeal to a wide variety of diets (for gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and flour). The recipe creation was fairly typical for Alex and me: I played around with a vegan sweet potato mac and cheese to the point of tears, and Alex swooped in and saved me with this creamy almond milk pasta. He used flour and almond milk to make a roux, and shallot, garlic and herbs to make the flavor pop. I was surprised it worked, and delighted as always to be one-upped. Hope you all enjoy it, and as always: thank you so much for reading. You are some of our favorite people, really.
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta (or substitute penne)
- ¼ cup minced herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil), plus 8 basil leaves for garnish
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 medium shallot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or substitute gluten-free)
- 1 cup Califia Almond Milk
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large pot, boil 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, then drain.
- Mince the herbs, garlic, and shallot. Thinly slice (chiffonade) the 8 basil leaves and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot and saute for 1 minute. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the flour is dry and bubbly, add the almond milk, herbs, and kosher salt. Stir until creamy, about 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
- Add the pasta and stir to combine. Garnish with basil and serve immediately, adding additional kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
We developed this recipe for Califia Farms; all opinions expressed are our own. We’re big fans of Califia almond milk and it’s a mainstay in our fridge. Thank you for supporting the partners that keep A Couple Cooks in action!