Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

Woohoo first recipe! And it’s definitely a special one. I’ve always loved pasta dishes and making different noodles and sauces from scratch. But when I went vegan recently, I really missed making the creamy pink and white sauces I loved so much. So I decided to make my own vegan version! It took some experimenting, but I finally got it to a good base that I am really happy with.

I love this recipe because it is so versatile. It’s great on pasta, but I’ve used it as pizza sauce, on grilled cheese, or even for some zoodle dishes. Not only is it great on it’s own, but it’s extremely accepting of modifications. Sometimes I’ll throw in some peppers or chiles, extra dijon mustard, or maybe even make a roux out of some soy milk and flour if I really want to kick up the creaminess. Point is: this sauce is preeetty incredible.

Before I get into the recipe, I want to address some ~fundamentals~. First of all: you might look at the dried basil at shake your head in disgust. Trust me, I get it. But I cook for just myself, and fresh herbs are expensive. I can’t be buying fresh basil just to throw half of it away when it goes bad before I can get to it.I hat’s why I like to keep freeze-dried basil on hand for recipes like this. The freeze-drying preserves most of the flavor and (thankfully) preserves my bank account. Plus, it makes it a treat when I am able to get some fresh basil!

In the pictures I’ve made this dish with some fettuccine-style noodles, because I had some extra fresh-made ones in my fridge (let me know if you want the recipe!). But I actually prefer it with a shorter noodle, like penne or rigatoni. But use whatever you have on hand! The most important part? Make sure your water is salted. Like, very salty. Salting your pasta water is the only way to season the actual noodles, so it’s important that it basically tastes like the sea.

Okay, now its finally recipe time! Feel free to add any suggestions or modifications that you enjoyed!

xoxo, CC

Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 10 min | Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 box pasta
  • Half of a large white onion, chopped
  • 2 cans whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed with the back of a knife
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Boil a large pot of water, heavily salted.
  2. Add tomatoes, carrots, half of the garlic, cashews, soy milk, basil, and mustard to a food processor (blender works fine as well). Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, use water or soy milk to thin it out a little more.
  3. Chop the remaining garlic. In a nonstick pan, sauté the onions and the garlic with the olive oil for about 4-5 minutes, until pale with the slightest bit of browning.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. In the meantime, and the sauce to the pan with the onions and garlic. Let it come to a gentle simmer.
  5. Drain pasta and add to the pan with sauce. If some pasta water carries over into the sauce via the noodles, perfect! Stir to combine and then season to taste.
  6. Plate pasta. Add basil and red pepper flakes for garnish.
Note: I didn’t use the onions in the dish in this picture, but I normally do!

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