Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Basil and Garlic


Urban Hippie sun-dried tomato pasta with basil and garlic

For as long as I can remember, I never liked tomatoes. My dad and grandpa have always grown them in their gardens, always trying to convince me of how delicious and nutritious they are. Then one day, when I was about 17, I decided to give them a fair shot. Ever since I was little and didn’t like a certain food, my dad would simply say to me, “15 times.” Over 5 years later of being a little more compassionate to the tomato population, I can finally say that I ENJOY tomatoes! Whether it’s a breakfast sandwich, a sub, or a salad, I always have them in my fridge ready to go.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Option, Soy-Free
Serves: 4
Soak time: 1-2 hours or overnight
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

SUN-DRIED CASHEW CREAM:
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1-2  medium cloves garlic, to taste
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Splash of olive oil, if needed

PASTA:
16 ounces (450 g) dry pasta of your choice (gluten-free pasta if desired)
1 package (142 g) baby spinach
2/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
Splash of olive oil, if needed
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 to 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, to taste (optional)
Red pepper flakes
Herbamare or fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese
Sliced cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the sun-dried cashew cream: Put the cashews in a bowl and add water to cover by a couple of inches. Soak for 8 to 12 hours or overnight. (For a quick-soak method, cover with boiling water and soak to 30 to 60 minutes). Drain and rinse.
  2. In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt. Blend on high until super smooth. If your blender is having a hard time getting the mixture smooth, add a splash or two of olive oil and blend again. Set aside.
  3. Make the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  4. Place the spinach in a large colander in the sink. When the pasta is done cooking, carefully and slowly empty the pot over the spinach in the colander to drain. (This is a quick way to wilt the spinach). Return the pasta and spinach to the pot and set over low-medium heat.
  5. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and sun-dried cashew cream until combined. Add a splash of olive oil if the sauce seems too thick.
  6. Stir in the lemon zest and vinegar (use only if you like a tangy kick!) and season with red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan, sliced tomatoes, and basil, if desired. The sauce will thicken and dry out fairly quickly, so I recommend serving the pasta immediately and not letting it sit in the pot for long.

--recipe inspired by Angela Liddon, "Oh She Glows Every Day" 

--photo by Casey Krebs

--story by Emma Davy

 


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