I don’t know about you, but I feel like the best meals happen in my kitchen when I’m just sort of winging it. I wasn’t planning to make anything more than a typical quick meal, or even something to post on Instagram, but this turned out so good that I had to share it. I have been in the habit lately of writing down what I’m putting into the food I’m preparing just in case it turns out good, and this is one of those lucky cases!
Now, I know if you are new to cooking, and especially plant-based cooking, you are probably thinking that making a raw cashew-based pasta sauce sounds a bit intimidating. I totally get you, but I promise that once you try it, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is. It just takes a little preparation. Having been vegan for seven years now, I’m in the habit of having a stocked fridge and pantry that makes it so easy to whip up meals like this. Raw cashews are something I almost always have on hand. They are so versatile and can be used to make the best sauces (sweet or savory), as well as some pretty awesome raw desserts.
This recipe will definitely serve 3-4 people, but you can also save the leftover sauce, or save it all for pasta leftovers the next day.
- Cashew Sauce:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours (or overnight)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes:
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half lengthwise (You can use more or less if you prefer)
- 3 tbsp vegetable broth for sauteing, or 1 tbsp avocado oil if you prefer to use oil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (really gives this dish a nice kick)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 oz. pasta of choice, or one box of pasta (I used a gluten-free brown rice pasta)
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
- Cover cashews in filtered water and set in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
- Drain cashews and add to high-speed blender or food processor. You will need a high-quality blender or food processor to get the sauce very creamy. I have tested using my Vitamix vs. using my Ninja processor, and the results weren’t even comparable (not to say I wouldn’t eat the Ninja results, just not very creamy).
- Add remaining cashew sauce ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides throughout. I blended mine in my Vitamix for about 3-5 minutes total, including scraping time, until it was super creamy.
- Cook pasta as directed and set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add vegetable broth or avocado oil. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add tomatoes to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat once tomatoes are soft and fragrant.
- Cover the pasta with the cashew sauce, and add the stewed tomatoes on top. Since my pasta was still warm, I didn’t need to heat up the cashew sauce, but if your pasta has been sitting, you might want to microwave the sauce for about 30 seconds. If you have leftover sauce, you can store it in the fridge for a few days. It makes a great dip for chips or homemade sweet potato fries.
- Stir it all up if you desire.