Roasted Tomato & Basil Pasta with a Kickin' Cashew Sauce
In the Craving a Peace Insiders Community, I run a monthly competition to add some fun to the conversation about veganism, engage the group in new challenges, and provide relevant prizes that better the group’s well-being.
This month, the competition is mocking Netflix’s cooking special Final Table. Each week, the group has an ingredient and they have to use their creativity to create something with it.
They can create a breakfast, dessert, lunch, dinner, snack…anything utilizing the week’s ingredient.
The first week of May is “Cashew Week.”
To honor the rules of the competition, I’m also participating in the challenge…even if I can’t win the prize myself.
You may notice that I’m a savory-tooth kinda person based on the recipes I’ve been putting out the last year.
My sweet-tooth days are behind me and my cravings are now for all things savory, hence why there are barely any desserts in my recipe spread.
For all you sweets-loving people, I promise i won’t neglect your taste buds forever.
While participating in the Craving a Peace Final Table challenge, however, I kicked it off with a savory dinner: Roasted Tomato & Basil Pasta with a Kickin’ Cashew Sauce.
The cool thing about cashews is that they’re one of the most multi-faceted nuts that exist.
You can use them to create desserts, sauces, dips, cheeses, and so much more.
They’re likely something I couldn’t live without as a vegan.
Cashews also have a ton of health benefits, so you don’t have to feel that bad about tossing a handful of these raw nuts into your mouth.
They’re high in magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorous, and manganese.
Cashews help to protect people against high blood pressure and weight gain. They’re also known to help maintain healthy vision and your immune system.
The level of copper in cashews assists in energy production and provides flexibility in blood vessels, bones, and joints.
There are loads more benefits of eating raw cashews, so toss a bag of them in your lunch box next time you’re headed out the door to work or school. They’ll do your body some good — that is, unless you’re allergic. Don’t even think about them in that case!
The more I use cashews in my cooking, the more familiar I become with their capabilities.
Cashews are a staple to many vegan cheeses and I hope to create my own delicious cheeses some day with the help of these banana shaped nuts.
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to blend them up into sauces and create dishes like this one.
This dish is a great comfort food option, but you can also use gluten-free pasta to keep it light.
The roasted tomatoes in this dish really give the sauce a nice flavor and the chili pepper & chili flakes add a bonus punch to the overall taste.
I love it and I hope you do, too.
ROASTED TOMATO & BASIL PASTA WITH A KICKIN’ CASHEW SAUCE
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup soaked or boiled cashews
2 cups of water
1/2 cup roasted tomatoes
1 cup/200g fresh cherry tomatoes (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (3 of them finely diced)
4-6 sprigs of fresh basil
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chili pepper (if a spicy kick is desired)
1 tsp chili flakes (if a spicy kick is desired)
250g/2 cups of pasta (GF optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Place a pot of water on the stove to boil while you prepare the sauce.
Add soaked or boiled cashews, nutritional yeast, water, roasted tomatoes, unsweetened almond milk, sprigs of basil, and 1 garlic clove to your blender and blend until the mixture is a thin sauce. Don’t be worried about it being too thin since you’ll cook out most of the water in a pan later. The water will help the blending process to start.
Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and the 3 diced garlic cloves to the heated oil to cook until relatively translucent.
Add pasta to boiling water and reduce heat to allow pasta to cook well.
Toss the cherry tomatoes into the pan and stir occasionally.
While the cherry tomatoes are sautéing, finely dice up a chili pepper and add it to the pan along with the oregano. Continue to stir.
Add the blended sauce to the pan, stirring it into the ingredients as you pour.
Add chili flakes to sauce and/or S&P to taste.
Lower the heat to a low flame and continuously stir as the sauce thickens.
The sauce should be properly heated by the time the pasta is ready. Drain the pasta and add to sauce, stirring as you pour.
Once all of the pasta is thoroughly mixed in with the sauce, remove from heat and serve in bowls.
Garnish each bowl with a sprig of basil and/or a diced cherry tomato.
Serve and enjoy!
AMOUNT PER SERVING: (calculated based on non-gluten-free pasta)
Saturated fat: 3.9g