Sometimes, you just need a good cashew cream pasta. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a more vegan statement I could make, but shit you guys. If you’ve never tried making a cream sauce with soaked and blended cashews, you haven’t lived. Vegan, vegetarian, raw or otherwise. While I was eating my plate of pasta for dinner this evening, all I could think was, if only I could go back in time and tell my bitter rice-and-soymilk using vegan self in the 90s about blending cashews! It would have changed my life.
|dear 1995, it’ s ok. your future is delicious!|
This recipe is an adaptation of the Sage and Lemon Cream raw pasta from Sarma Melngailis’ Living Raw Food. The original calls for 4.5 cups of pine nuts. I’m pretty sure that would cover my grocery bills for at least a couple of weeks, so I opted for some indulgent but slightly less bank-breaking raw cashews, also to delicious end.
I initially prepared and served this sauce raw, over some matchstick-sliced raw parsnip “noodles,” which were sweet and delicious and a wicked accompaniment to the rich, tangy sauce. Way number two was served tonight, over some cooked kamut udon noodles, sauteed zucchini, carrots and kale. Equally delicious, so the choice is yours friends! Raw! Cooked! Try both! This makes a boatload of sauce, so if you honestly just want one meal that will still serve four people, go ahead and halve this!
*Note: So many people I talk to think they need fancy equipment to make raw food or fancy vegan shit like this. You don’t. Think you need a VitaMix to blend a cashew cream sauce? Think again, friends. I made this deliciously creamy sauce in this lil’ guy, my grandma’s old blender which may or may not be older than I am:
Ok, so no excuses. Make some magic.
Sage Lemon Cashew Cream Pasta
4 cups raw cashews, soaked at least one hour
1-1.5 cups water
3/4 cup Pinot Grigio or other “fruity” white wine
2 shallots, diced
12-15 fresh sage leaves
1/4 tsp thyme leaves
zest of 2 small lemons
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
few grinds fresh black pepper
(original recipe calls for a few drops of truffle oil or walnut oil – get fancy if you like, I sure as heck didn’t!)
Soak cashews at least one hour. Blend all ingredients in high-speed or regular blender. If you use a regular blender (which I did! it’s no big deal!), you’re better off soaking cashews a bit longer, and you’ll likely need the 1.5 cups of water, or even a bit more to get it to blend to smooth.
|my blender isn’t the only thing that’s ghetto, check that spatula!|
If serving as a raw dish, toss sauce with parsnip, zucchini or other veggie “noodles” and serve with extra drizzle of sauce on plate. If making a cooked pasta, sautee a couple of shallots, some carrots, zucchini, kale, fresh tomato and any other veg you like in a pan, add in pasta and sauce to coat, heating everything through until sauce thickens and coats pasta & veg. Serve with a few extra grins of black pepper, in either case.
|sweet, sweet winter parsnips|
|ooh, la la!|
On raw night, I served this with a kale & fennel salad dressed in a grapefruit vinaigrette to impress my friends. Tonight, we just ate big ol’ plates of veggies and kamut udon noodles swimming in delicious cream sauce, comfort food styles. Either way, cooking with wine makes you feel like a fancy rockstar kitchen ninja superhero thing. So, I recommend this. Or, y’know, if you’re sXe, leave ‘er out and just use extra water and maybe a bit more lemon juice. Still totally delish, promise. And I might mock you, but I’ll still love you.