We used to go to Buca di Beppo all the time because it’s a great Italian place with a romantic atmosphere, and you practically get your own room every time so we don’t have to worry about the kids being crazy (plus I’m always getting coupons in the mail, so that’s an extra bonus!).
I was craving Buca today, and while I don’t mind having those kinds of foods every now and then on special occasions, I thought I might as well try a vegan Buca knock-off pasta from home.
So here’s the result! I thought it was good, and hit the spot for my pasta craving, but my husband thought it was just pretty good, and the kids didn’t seem to love it. He said they were just not that hungry because it’s summer time and we were outside all day. Definitely a keeper though!
Vegan Buca di Beppo Creamy Pasta
I have to admit, I don’t measure everything quite exactly when I’m making up these dishes, so I’m guessing on the amounts of cashews and almond milk here. You’ll know by the consistency how much liquid to add.
First, boil a big pot of water and then add a large package of whole wheat noodles of your choice. This should be enough to fill almost 2 casserole dishes. (One for the freezer, one for now)
Meanwhile, put the following ingredients in the blender:
2 cups cashews
2 cups almond milk
1 Tbsp Sweet Basil
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp Onion Pwdr
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cooking wine (white wine or marsala)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Corn Starch mixed into a cup of warm water
Blend all ingredients above until smooth. Then saute 4 Tbsp fresh garlic (use about 1 1/2 tsp if powdered) in a saucepan with 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the remaining ingredients from the blender to the saucepan. Add more almond milk or water until it’s a little thin because as you’re heating it the cornstarch will thicken it up.
Chop up a red and green bell pepper in the food processor until very small. Dice 8 ozs mushrooms, and add all the veggies to the sauce. Drain the noodles and add them to a casserole dish and combine them with the sauce. We also steamed some broccoli to put on the side or mix in with the pasta. I thought it was a nice creamy pasta that gave me my buca fix! If you have sun-dried tomatoes on hand this would be even better!