Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tomato Basil Cashew Cream Pasta

Ugh.. What a weekend. I have three, yes THREE, big exams this week (pray for me!!) so my weekend has consisted of studying, studying, a little cooking/baking, & more studying. Sounds thrilling, doesn't it? I won't complain though, I've got a batch of PB Chocolate Chip Cookies to keep me company. ;)

I've noticed a trend of dessert & sweet recipes on this blog, so I thought it was probably time for a savory dish recipe. What better than a healthy & filling pasta dish? If there is one thing I've learned in my short twenty-one years of life, it is that people love carbs. Everyone loves carbs. If you claim you don't.. You're lying. Ha. ;) 

Tomato Basil Cashew Cream Pasta
(adapted from: OhSheGlows)

Yields: 3 servings
  • 1 large ripened tomato
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (i soaked mine in water for an hour or 2 beforehand so they would blend more smoothly, but it isn't necessary!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 servings uncooked spaghetti (i used udon noodles, but any variety will work fine)
First fill a large pot with water and place on the stove to boil. Rough chop your tomato and add to a blender (include both the skin & seeds).

 Add in your cashews, water, & tomato paste. If you soaked your cashews beforehand, pat them dry before adding to the blender. Blend the mixture until it becomes smooth and creamy.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil & minced garlic on low, sautéing for a few minutes. Pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet, stir well, then bring to a simmer. Add in salt and pepper, let cook for 4-5 minutes or until hot. While the sauce is cooking, add your noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente.

When your sauce is thoroughly heated, remove from heat & stir in the fresh chopped basil.

When the pasta is finished, strain out all water, then return the noodles to the pot. Add in desired amount of sauce and stir well to combine. I wouldn't add all of the sauce right away, as I had some left over afterwards. Now you're ready to enjoy!

This pasta is smooth, rich, and packed with flavor. The fresh basil & cracked pepper add a perfect bite to the otherwise creamy & mellow sauce. The cashews provide a creamy base, but unlike most "cream" pastas this one is actually healthy! This is by far my favorite pasta dish I've ever made. It tastes so decadent &... dare i say, expensive? Haha. No seriously, if you're wanting to feel like some amazing accomplished italian chef, this is the dish to make. ;)

Alright, I suppose it's back to studying for me.

Hope you're all having a great Sunday. =)

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