This creamy pasta recipe is easy enough to make for weeknight dinners, but it's wonderfully satisfying and satisfyingly healthier than traditional butter-and-cream pasta sauces. Feel free to add additional flavors to taste; a bit of lemon juice and zest can be a wonderfully refreshing addition to both hot and cold pasta dishes.
Serves 6 to 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 2 T. olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 T. flour
- 2 cups dairy-free unsweetened soy or almond milk, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 T. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 t. sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta, such as linguini or fettucini, cooked according to the manufacturer's instructions
1.In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 T. of the olive oil, adding the onion and garlic once hot. Stirring often, cook until the onion is soft and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. Add the fresh basil and cook until it is wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
2. In the same saucepan, heat the remaining 1 T. of olive oil. Whisk in the flour using a wire whisk and cook for a little less than 1 minute, or until the flour smells slightly toasted but is not burned. Gradually add the dairy-free soy or almond milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Add the basil mixture to the pan, stirring until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a blender, process the raw cashews until the mixture resembles very fine, powdery crumbs. Add the basil mixture, nutritional yeast, and sea salt, and process until creamy. Return to the saucepan and heat until desired temperature and consistency, adding more soy milk or sea salt to taste.
4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat the noodles. Serve immediately, garnishing with sprigs of fresh basil if desired.