This Creamy Basil Cashew Pasta recipe is loaded with all the goods like hearty pasta, fresh tomato and a deliciously creamy cashew sauce.
About This Recipe
Flavor: This recipe has a basil cashew sauce that is somewhere between pesto and a creamy pasta sauce. Because the base of the sauce is made up of cashews and olive oil, it is fairly rich. The fresh tomatoes balance out the richness of the sauce while the parmesan adds the perfect amount of nutty salty flavor.
Time: This is a quick recipe. The sauce takes about 5 minutes to make. It takes about 8 minutes to boil pasta and maybe minutes 3 to cut up a few tomatoes. Then it is assembly time!
Leftovers/Meal Prep: The leftovers of this pasta recipe are delicious if you follow a couple easy tricks.
- Make sure you do not overcook your pasta. Overcooked pasta = mushy leftovers. You want the pasta to be al dente which means the pasta is still firm when bitten into but not hard or crunchy.
- After the pasta is cooked and drained, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil (a couple teaspoons or so) over it and toss it with your hands to coat. This helps create a barrier between the pasta and sauce to prevent the pasta from absorbing too much of the sauce which is what makes it soggy. This trick works for this recipe because the sauce is oil based.
Tools & Equipment: The sauce uses cashews to get that creamy thick texture and rich flavor. You have two options for tools.
- Use a high powered food processor or blender like Ninja, BlendTec or Vitamix and blend for at least a full minute or two. You need a little extra horsepower to turn cashews into that smooth velvety texture.
- If you don’t have a high powered blender, no problem! Just soak the cashews in water for an hour or two before blending. The cashews will soften and be much easier to blend.
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How to Make Creamy Basil Cashew Pasta
Creamy Basil Cashew Pasta
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 12 ounces pasta*
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves, optional garnish
- Blend: Blend all sauce ingredients on high speed until smooth (about a minute).** Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge until needed.
- Cook Pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Toss: Toss the pasta with the cashew cause. Add the cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional). Serve immediately.