Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, mushrooms, and asparagus. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir.
Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are slightly browned and the asparagus is tender. Remove from skillet and set aside. (If you prefer more tender asparagus, cook longer. If you prefer it with more bite, cook 2-3 minutes.).
At this time, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with sea salt. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
Lower heat on the skillet to low and add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 4 cloves minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
To a blender add remaining 2 cloves raw minced garlic, 4 cloves sautéed garlic,vegan cream cheese, almond milk, vegan parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, red pepper flake, and another healthy pinch sea salt and black pepper.
Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for cheesiness, raw garlic for zing, red pepper flake for heat, lemon juice for acidity/brightness, or salt for saltiness. Mix once more and add back to skillet.
Heat the sauce over medium heat to warm until slightly bubbly, then reduce heat to low to keep warm. Stir occasionally.
Add cooked drained pasta directly to the sauce along with sautéed asparagus and mushrooms. Toss to coat and enjoy immediately with additional vegan parmesan cheese. Fresh parsley would also make a fresh, colorful garnish.
Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a bit of almond milk if it’s dried out.