This is the vegan pasta you make for lifelong dairy lovers. Rich and creamy, with deep tomato flavor, it’s sure to have everyone digging back into the pot for another serving. Sun-dried tomatoes and a hefty dose of tomato paste team up to create a robust sauce that tastes like it’s been simmering all day, while a homemade vegan cream made from quick-soaked cashews rounds it out, adding the body and richness that we love in dairy-filled pastas. A shower of spiced toasted cashews grated over top gives it the perfect finishing touch.
How do we make this cashew cream?
Cashew cream is simply softened cashews blended with water until smooth. Some say the cashews should soak overnight before blending, but we’ve found that soaking them in just-boiled water for an hour does the trick. If you’re concerned that the cashews aren’t soft enough, try pressing one between two fingers: If you can see it squishing, you’re good to go.
What’s with the cashews grated on top?
Micrograting spiced nuts over pasta is a trick I picked up from Chef Neal Harden, executive chef at abcV in Manhattan. It might seem crazy, but the shower of spiced nut shavings really does mimic the look of grated Parmesan—and it adds another layer of richness and light spice to complement the flavors already in the pasta. Please note: You’ll need a handheld microplane grater for this. We don’t recommend trying to do it with a box grater or other form of zester!
What do I do with leftovers?
If you have leftovers (unlikely, but we’ll pretend!), you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Typically creamy pastas don’t reheat well—the cream or butter in the sauce tends to break and become greasy—but because there’s no dairy in this sauce, that shouldn’t be a problem. You may notice that the sauce seems slightly drier; if that’s the case, just add a teaspoon of water to your pasta bowl and mix it around to return it to saucy, glossy perfection.
Made this? Let us know how it went in the comments below.