Craving a healthier option for creamy pasta sauce?
Making your own sauces, dressings and spices is a great way to ensure that you are putting good ingredients into your body. I have found it eliminates so much unnecessary crap from the store bought versions and it really isn’t as difficult as one might think. For a while now I have been wanting to try out a creamy cashew sauce for, well- anything, but pasta to start.
I followed this recipe from Jeanette’s Healthy Living blog for how to make the cashew cream. I will just say that for someone who has never done this before it is surprisingly simple. To the point that I am shocked I hadn’t tried it sooner. You just soak some cashews and forget about them for a while. In this time you can prep and cook the rest of the meal until they are ready to blend!
You can use any blender, but I for sure want to add a Vitamix to my kitchen! It blends everything soooo smooth that it is leaps and bounds above anything else you will use.
Once blended, I added in some lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic, dried basil and a dash of salt and pepper. I will note that this was delicious as is, I just wanted to have a rich tomato sauce for this particular dish.
You can blend up your own tomato or buy canned tomato juice. I mixed a little in until it was a light red color, but not too liquified. Just heat on low over the stove and mix with pasta of your choice! I had some herbed noodles from a farmer’s market to go with mine.
Now, I do realize how contradicting it sounds to add meat to a pasta with vegan sauce, but I am not a vegetarian. I simply like to experiment with food, and I happen to love cashews! I am always looking for a healthier alternative and this might save me from my alfredo addiction. So yes, I threw some beef tenderloin tips into this pasta. I soaked them in a little tomato juice first before adding them in with the noodles.
- Boil some water and then add in the cashews. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Let the cashews soak and then when about halfway done cook the pasta.
- Drain the cashews and then put in blender with 1 1/2 cups of water. Blend repeatedly until smooth. Stir in lemon, minced garlic, seasonings and tomato juice.
- Heat sauce on low for a minute or two on the stove with some olive oil. Mix in pasta when ready!
The final result tasted sinfully delicious! This creamy pasta alternative is protein packed, dairy-free and extremely versatile. I love how just a few little extras transformed the nutty flavor into something that most people would never guess had a base of only raw cashews. In fact, my husband just stared at me when I told him what it was made of. Give this cashew cream tomato sauce a try and you may be equally satisfied!
You can check out another version of a vegan cashew sauce from Plant Strong Mom’s blog, which was a recipe adapted from the Oh She Glows cookbook! She uses this often to make a vegan mac-n-cheese recipe that sounds delicious and is loaded with veggies!
My New Year’s resolution is to branch out in my cooking, in order to keep us out of restaurants and the drive-thru. We eat a lot of whole wheat pasta, and I didn’t think that using homemade sauce could make a big difference, but it definitely does! I’ve just recently started making sauces from scratch and I’m always looking for new recipes, so I’m really glad I found your blog!
Melissa @ Hey Lil Mama
Good to hear- I am doing the same and it really does make a noticeable difference! Once you know how to make your own you will start to look at ingredients and be conscious of the store bought ones.