Monday, March 9, 2015

Cashew Cream Sundried Tomato Pasta

It's been awhile since I've felt inspired to make something new, so I'm excited to share this recipe that I made the other night. Hub and I have been on a real pesto kick and I've been making batches of the traditional basil version for a while, but on Friday I thought I'd make a sundried tomato version. It ended up turning out more like a creamy cashew sundried tomato sauce, which was absolutely delicious and easy to make. It's also vegan and gluten-free! 

5 sundried tomatoes + 1/4 cup of sundried tomato oil • 2 tomatoes diced • 1/4 cup of roasted salted cashews, soaked in water overnight • 1 large garlic clove • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano • juice of 1/2 lemon • Bunch of spinach rinsed • 500g button mushrooms sliced • 1/2 red onion sliced • 250g gluten-free pasta • olive oil • salt & pepper

Start boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. While the water is warming up, prepare the cashew cream sundried tomato sauce. Heat up a sautée pan with a little bit of olive oil and cook the diced tomatoes over low heat until soft and mushy. Poor the tomatoes into a blender and blitz until smooth. Then layer-in the soaked cashews, lemon juice, sundried tomatoes and their olive oil, garlic clove and oregano. Blend until smooth and creamy and add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

For this recipe I used roasted salted cashews which is all I could find locally, but raw cashews would be fantastic in this dish. They would also be slightly healthier without the added salted and oil from the roasting process. 

This on its own was heaven, could eat it with a spoon.

By this point the water should be boiling, so add in your pasta and cook as directed on the label. Lately I've been enjoying gluten-free pasta and it cooks very quickly, so be careful not to overcook. I go back and forth on the gluten-free thing, but I find eating gluten-free helps with my sluggish digestion. However, any pasta will do in this recipe and preferably wholegrain. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. 

Taking the same pan used for the tomatoes, add a little bit of olive oil and sautée your onions and mushrooms until soft and nicely browned. Combine the onions, mushrooms, spinach and pesto into the pasta and mix until well coated, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and voila!

This turned out so, so good! I've always loved rich and creamy pastas, so this was 
a real treat to have and no dairy necessary.
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