This is another vegan pasta dish inspired by a spicy mushroom and cashew nut dish I had recently at an Issan (northeastern Thai) restaurant. It was served with small rice noodles, here I made it with pasta. I think the mushrooms, cashews and garlic make a great combination of flavours and textures here.
For two servings I started by putting the pasta water on to boil and then fried a handful of cashew nuts, on a medium heat, in about 4 tbsp. oil (you can use olive oil or any oil you prefer). Once they become golden brown I removed them and the fried about 8 cloves of peeled and softly crushed garlic until they were golden and crispy and I then added put them with the nuts. Then I fried a dried chilli in the pan and put it aside, you can just use chilli flakes if you prefer adding them at the next stage. The amount of chilli you use will depend on your chilies and how spicy you like things. The oil will now be flavoured with the chilli and garlic.
Next put on about 200g of pasta and fried about 300 g sliced mushrooms, I used orinji mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt. When they were almost cooked I crumbled the chilli (remove the seeds if you want to control the spice) and added it into the pan. I drained the pasta reserving some of the water and added about half a cup of the pasta water to the mushrooms and let this reduce a little into a sauce and then added the pasta and stirred so it was covered in the mushroom sauce. I served on a bed of asparagus, and then sprinkled over the cashews and garlic.