This dish is so downright delicious and deceptively decadent, you won’t believe its made without a drop of cream or butter. Cashews lend a creamy lusciousness to the basil sauce; tricking everyone into thinking they’re eating something naughty. Slow roasting the tomatoes brings even the saddest winter tomatoes back to life, and makes them sweet and juicy. Vegans and non-vegans alike will swoon for this one!
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Serves 2 with leftovers & extra sauce
Total Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Inactive Time: 2 hours
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss 2 cups of halved cherry or grape tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 4 peeled garlic cloves. Arrange the tomatoes so they’re all facing cut side up, and roast in the oven for 2 hours, until they’ve shrunk down and are sweet and tender.
Basil Cream Ingredients:
▪ 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for at least one hour and at most overnight)
▪ 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
▪ The zest from 1 lemon
▪ 2 cloves roasted garlic from your tomatoes
▪ 3-4 tablespoons cold water, as needed
▪ 1 tablespoon honey
▪ 4 tablespoons fresh basil
▪ Salt and pepper, to taste
Basil Cream Directions:
- Combine all ingredients together in a high-speed blender, adding more water as needed, and scraping down the sides of the mixer and blending until you have a creamy, smooth mixture. Season to taste, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.
- Cook 1 package long pasta (try linguini, spaghetti, or pappardelle) in salted water according to package instructions, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, ½ the basil cream sauce, the roasted tomatoes, and a splash of the pasta cooking water. Toss well to combine, coating each strand of pasta with sauce.
- Add more basil cream and/or pasta cooking water as needed until you have a silky, creamy pasta dish. Garnish with fresh chopped basil, and enjoy!