This Tomato Basil Cream Pasta gets its creaminess from cashews – making it decadent, yet light. If you have time, soak the cashews in water for a few hours or overnight and drain them before using (this step isn’t necessary if you have a Vitamix or another high-speed blender).
- 2–3 large, ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 pound whole wheat pasta (or gluten-free pasta)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1–2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Core the tomatoes and roughly chop. Add the tomatoes to your blender or food processor — seeds, skin and all. Add the cashews, tomato paste, and water and blend until very smooth.
- Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan and warm over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden, being careful not to burn. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta.
- Pour the sauce from the blender into the sauté pan and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the sauce simmer until pasta is finished cooking.
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain. Add the pasta to the sauté pan with black pepper and freshly chopped basil leaves. Toss to coat and use reserved pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with more pepper and basil.