September 21, 2012

Speedy Spaghetti with Tomato Cream Sauce- for Meatless Mondays

This is a great recepe when you are avoiding eating meat daily. I know, Cashews? But it's such a great way to add a healthy amount of protein for a good meatless monday. Really, it's not strange at all. My hubby requests this one and he is a major meat eater. I triple-dog-dare you to try it. Really, what dish with this much Garlic and Wine in it could be bad??? Unless you're currently emplyeed at Fangtasia.

8 oz whole wheat or fiber enriched spaghetti (linguini or fettuccini work great too)
2 ripe tomatoes (organic if possible)
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tablespoons of concentrated tomato paste (the kind in a tube not in a can)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup or so of wine (optional)
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped (optional-keep aside a few leaves for garnish)

  1. Start the pasta water and cook according to directions
  2. Core tomatoes and scooping out the seeds, giving a rough chop
  3. Add the tomatoes, cashews, and tomato paste to food processor or blender and pulse until mostly smooth. (food processor will give a more chucky texture, similar to a Bolognese type meat sauce. It's very good this way)
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan to low/med heat and add the garlic, oregano and thyme.  Be careful not to burn your garlic!! (if you do, start over, burned garlic will ruin any dish)
  5. Once the garlic becomes fragrant add the sauce from the blender (the raw sauce is a salmon colored pink at this point). Stir in salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. Add the wine and bring to a low boil for about 2 minutes  (turn to medium/high heat) stirring constantly. (the sauce should be turning more of an orange color at this point, darker if you added red wine)
  7. Turn the heat back down and simmer, stirring occasionally for another 5 mins or until your pasta is done.
  8. Set aside 1/4 cup of the pasta water; then drain pasta
  9. Turn the heat off on the sauce, add the pasta and stir. Adding some of the reserved pasta water if it starts to get too thick (use all of the pasta water if you skipped the wine)
  10. Toss in the chopped basil at the end and plate adding garnish if desired

This is one of my fav weekday recipes. I always keep raw cashews on hand so I can make this last min meal. You can also sub canned whole tomatoes if needed… but it's best with fresh! And NO, you cannot sub with dried basil, it just isn't the same.

I hope you like is as much as I do!

This recipe is an adaptation for Vegan Yum Yum's "super quick tomato basil  cream pasta"

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