Raw cashews thicken creamy vegan tomato spinach pasta, a healthier version of a hearty sauce for penne, rigatoni or another pasta with ridges.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1–28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces baby spinach
1 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours to overnight or bring to a boil in a small saucepan of water,remove from heat and soak for 15 minutes (drain before using)
1 cup water
12 ounces rigatoni or penne pasta
Nutritional yeast for serving
Chopped parsley for serving
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions until they start to soften and turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste. After 30 seconds when the ingredients are fragrant, add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Simmer the tomatoes for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the spinach letting it wilt.
Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a blender with the cashews and 1 cup water. Puree until smooth.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Stir in the desired amount of sauce and reheat in the skillet as needed.
Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and chopped parsley before serving.
The recipe makes about 4 cups of sauce, so you will end up with extra. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month.