Vegan Creamy Pasta
I LOVE this creamy vegan pasta dish, and so do does my family, but for a few different reasons. We all love it because it’s absolutely yummy, but I love it the most because it’s one of the easiest, quickest meals you can make! it’s one of my “go to” dinners, on those days when I haven’t had a spare moment to even consider what I’m going to cook, and it’s getting late.
Honestly, you can throw this filling, plant based dinner together in no time, and even the most die hard carnivores will go back for seconds and thirds. It has very few ingredients, and barely any prep, so it’s a busy mom’s dream.
This is a tweaked, vegan version of a Rachel Ray recipe, shared on Oprah’s show years ago. It was easy to veganize and tastes exactly the same, without the health harming effects of dairy. Plus, you get tons of muscle building protein and cancer protecting lycopene, from the cashew and tomato based vegan cream sauce. It’s a win, all the way around.
And don’t worry about the vodka content- there’s very little in my version, and you’ll be simmering away the majority of it anyway. It’s really just there to add depth and dimension to the flavor, and it aids in providing a “cheesy” quality to this vegan pasta sauce.
Low Carb Pasta Substitute
If you’re following a low carb diet, such as Paleo or Ketogenic meal plans, simply substitute the pasta with zucchini noodles. If you’ve never had them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their mellow flavor, and their really quick and easy to make (a lot faster than boiling spaghetti) with a cheap kitchen tool called a spiralizer.
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- Crushed Tomatoes
- Raw Cashews
- Vegetable Broth or Faux Chicken Broth
- Whole Grain Pasta or Gluten Free Pasta
- Spiralizer (for veggie noodles)
- Sweet Basil
- 3 Minced Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Vegan Butter or Margerine (see notes)
- 1/2 C Vodka
- 3/4 C Whole, Raw Cashews (see notes)
- 1 1/4 C Faux Chicken or Vegetable Broth (see notes)
- 16 Oz Crushed Tomatoes
- Fresh or Dried Sweet Basil (optional)
- 16 Oz Whole Grain Spaghetti, Fettuccine or Linguine (see notes)
- Place cashews in a blender, and fill blender with enough filtered water, to cover approximately half of the cashews.
- Blend until smooth.
- If necessary, add more water in small increments, to reach the consistency of thick cream.
- In a large saute pan or medium sized pot, saute minced garlic in olive oil and butter.
- Add vodka and simmer, allowing the vodka to reduce down by about half.
- Add broth and simmer, allowing to reduce down by about one eighth.
- Add crushed tomatoes, mix together, stir frequently and simmer until bubbling. Increase heat if needed.
- Add 1/2 cup cashew cream, mix together, stir frequently and simmer until bubbling.
- Using a ladle, scoop sauce into your blender and mix until well blended and smooth. Work in batches, if necessary.
- Sauce can be returned to the pan, to keep warm, or you can simply pour it over your prepared pasta, straight from the blender.
- For vegan butter or margerine, I recommend Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
- Whole cashews are recommended, as chopped pieces are typically more dry.
- For broth, I recommend Imagine brand, Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth.
- For those with gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease, I recommend rice based pastas. Be careful not to overcook it though- rice based pastas cook very fast.
- The pasta should be cooked simultaneously, while you're cooking your sauce.
- To avoid the hot liquid from blowing the lid off of your blender, place a towel over the lid, and hold firmly while blending. This is typically not necessary, when using a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec.