Makes 4 servings

Asparagus lovers will enjoy this luxurious pasta dish €”the creamy sauce contains pureed asparagus and is also thick with pieces of the luscious green vegetable.

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 1„2 cup chopped yellow onion 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1„4 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil 1„2 teaspoon salt
  • 1„8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 cup cooked or canned Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed Plain unsweetened soy milk, as needed
  • 1 pound penne

1. Steam the asparagus until just tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened, 1 minute. Stir in the wine, basil, salt, and cayenne and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add half of the steamed asparagus along with the beans and stir to combine.

2. Transfer the asparagus and bean mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth, adding a little soy milk if too thick. Transfer the sauce to a large saucepan and add the reserved steamed asparagus. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until hot. Taste, adjusting seasonings if necessary. Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.

3. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.