Try this recipe for a healthier vegan alternative to cream-based pasta sauce. Creamy pasta is my ultimate vice, but this version is a dream without all the dairy cream. What’s the secret? Cashews! Nuts are the vegan answer to creamy goodness, and when you add garlic and sautéed veggies, you’re in for a treat. This recipe is terrific for lactose-intolerant folks, and it’s received the seal of approval from non-vegan friends too. Picture tangy tomatoes with velvety cream tossed with savoury veggies and garlic. Can you picture it?
It’s also pretty easy to prepare; it just requires a blender and a little time.
Rose Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms (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
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups spinach washed and chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms washed and sliced
- 350 grams of pasta *I recommend spaghettini fettuccine or tagliatelle
- Handful of fresh basil optional
To prepare at least two hours in advance
- 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.
Prepare the sauce
- Blend soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, water and salt until velvety smooth.
- In a pot of salted boiling water, add pasta, cook until al dente, rinse and set aside.
- In a medium-sized frying pan 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, mix in cashew cream and 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 or nutritional yeast or chopped cashews or all three!
If you try this at home, let me know what you think and feel free to share.