A much healthier alternative to cream pasta that is totally vegan and rich in iron, calcium, magnesium and other important vitamins and minerals. Take your favourite gluttonous pasta dish and turn it into a lactose-free healthy treat.
Cream pasta is my ultimate vice after midnight poutine, but this satisfying sauce is a dream without all the dairy cream. What’s the secret? Cashews of course! Nuts are the vegan answer to cream and when you add garlic and sautéed veggies, you’re in for a treat. This recipe wonderful for the lactose intolerant and it’s received the seal of approval from many of my non-vegan friends. Imagine tangy tomatoes with velvety cream, tossed with savoury veggies and garlic. Yum.
Try this at home for a much healthier and more ethical version of your favourite pasta. Remember, you don’t have to BE vegan to EAT vegan.
- 1 cup of my basil marinara sauce
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1.5 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups spinach, washed and chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 350 grams of pasta (spaghettini, fettuccine or tagliatelle recommended)
- 4 – 5 leaves of fresh basil (optional)
- Cover raw cashews in a generous amount of water for a minimum of 2 hours (or overnight). Cashews will expand a little so be sure to use a container with enough room.
- Drain soaked cashews, discard water and rinse.
- Prep your veg:
- Mince garlic
- Wash, dry, and roughly chop spinach
- Wash, dry, and thinly slice mushrooms
- Blend soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, water and salt until velvety smooth.
- In a pot of salted boiling water, add pasta, cook until al dente, rince and set aside.
- In a medium sized frying pad on medium heat, add olive oil, heat for 3 minutes.
- Add garlic to heated oil, sauté until golden brown, 3 mins.
- Add mushrooms, sauté until water is expelled and mushrooms slices are firm and brown, about 5 – 6 minutes.
- Add spinach, sauté until water is expelled. *There should be no remaining water in the pan. Thoroughly pre-drying helps spinach keep its integrity without accumulating too much water.*
- Once mushrooms and spinach are sautéed with no remaining water, add cashew cream mix, heat for 4 mins, stirring frequently.
- Add 1 cup of basil marinara, stir until heated, 5 mins.
- Add pasta, toss gently on medium heat until all pasta is covered with sauce and temperature is hot.
- Garnish with fresh basil and/or nutritional yeast and/or chopped cashews (all optional)
- Serve pasta, makes 2 generous servings or 4 small servings.
If you try this at home, let me know what you think and feel free to share.