I recently ordered the cookbook, Veganmonicon from Amazon. Someone in a vegan Yahoo! group recommended it. I was reading old blog reviews by Cooking the Vegan Books and came across a review for this recipe. The review is actually from February 16, 2009, but it was right on time for me today.
The sauce has a little zing to it due to the crushed red pepper. The almonds made it amazingly creamy. The fresh basil added a wonderful taste and aroma to the dish. It took me about 40 minutes from start (turning the stove on to boil the water for the pasta) to finish (topping the bowl with chopped fresh basil). It was truly a delight.
The test for this dish is that I made it for dinner for my sons, too. When my youngest son came out to get his bowl of pasta, he asked me if it was a vegan dish. I have to admit, I said no. To divert his attention from the vegan question, I told him it had vodka in it. :::smile::: Technically, I wasn't lying to him. He put a tablespoon of shredded Romano cheese on his, so his dish was only vegetarian, not vegan. Same for my oldest son, but he didn't ask me if it was vegan.
My youngest son scarfed his pasta down and then went back for another full bowl of pasta. He really enjoyed it. My oldest son ate all of his, too, but I suspect the almonds, although mostly mixed it, still were too grainy for his tastes. (Although neither son knew there were almonds in the sauce.) Next time I make it, I'll use the immersion blender longer to make it creamier and less grainy. After they eat it the next time, I'll tell them it's a vegan dish. I figure if they really like it two times, then they won't blink when they learn it's vegan.