Creamy Tomato Vegan Pasta

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Prep Time: 10 Min

1 1/2 c. water, divided, plus more for pasta 3/4 c. raw cashews, divided 2 tbsp. plus 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided 16 oz. penne 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided 3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, divided 1 small yellow onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped  6 tbsp. tomato paste 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, for serving

Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins 


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Step 1

Boil 1 cup water in a small pot. Add 1/2 cup cashews. Soak 1 hour.

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Step 2

Rinse soaked cashews. Blend 1/2 cup water and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth, then add to a small container (approximately 3/4 cup cashew cream).

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Step 3

Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook penne, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, 2–3 minutes less than package guidelines. Save pasta cooking liquid.

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Step 4

In a large, high-sided skillet, combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup cashews. Toast 4–5 minutes, stirring often. Put away. Wipe skillet.

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Step 5

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet. Simmer onions, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt for 5–7 minutes, tossing occasionally. Stir tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 3–4 minutes.

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Step 6

Simmer 3/4 cup pasta liquid and cashew cream. Liquid pasta. 1/4 cup at a time until pasta is al dente and sauce glossy and coated, 2–3 minutes. Needs salt.

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Step 7

Distribute spaghetti. Grate leftover toasted cashews over spaghetti using a microplane. Add basil.

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