This Spinach and Roasted Tomato Pasta with Cashew Cream Sauce is easy, heart-healthy and crazy delicious.
This recipe is sponsored by Pacific Foods
Spinach and Roasted Tomato Pasta with Cashew Cream Sauce
Roasted tomatoes and fresh spinach get tossed with fettuccine noodles. It is all smothered in a silky, creamy cashew sauce that is infused with roasted garlic and onions. This pasta with cashew cream sauce is a heart-healthy spin on a more traditional cream-based pasta sauce.
Yes, this is a vegan, plant-based recipe, but you don’t need to be following a plant-based diet to fall in love with this silky, creamy sauce.
Getting Back on Track
Sometimes I crave rich decadent ultra-fattening food but my body demands healthier choices. Like after our recent vacation in South Africa where I spent nearly two weeks binge eating. I felt bloated and lethargic, and I gained 6 pounds. That’s when my body was telling me that things were way out of balance.
So to get back on track, clean up and lose all that weight, I set out on a clean, plant-based diet. Well, it was semi-plant-based since I did not give up my yogurt, honey, and chocolate.
I spent three weeks eating LOT’s of veggies and filled in the gaps with fruit, lentils, whole grains, and nuts. Plus, I stayed away from processed foods. By the end of the first week, I was feeling better and sleeping better. Before the end of the third week, I had lost the 6 pounds that I gained on vacation.
I don’t count calories when I eat like this, I just watch WHAT I eat and it works every time. Even recipes like this that are a bit higher in calories don’t backfire on me, plus they fill me up. It just works for me so I stick to it when I need to clean up, feel better, and lose weight. The hardest part for me is eliminating sugar so I allow honey and an occasional bite of dark chocolate.
I also find myself craving creamy, cheesy, decadent dips, sauces and pasta dishes. Cashews and this Pacific Foods cashew vanilla unsweetened n
on-dairy beverage to the rescue!!
A Great Healthy Alternative
This pasta with cashew cream sauce is the perfect trade-off for a heavy cream based sauce. It’s deceptive! It feels and tastes like a decadent cream and butter based sauce, but it is made with roasted veggies, cashews, and cashew vanilla unsweetened plant-based beverage from Pacific Foods. Cashew plant-based beverage is amazing. It has a thick creamy texture but a mild flavor that goes well with the other ingredients. I love how it adds to the richness of the sauce but still keeps it healthy.
If you compare the cashew cream sauce in this recipe with a traditional fettuccini sauce, you only save a few calories. However, the big win comes from saving on saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus you strike it rich in fiber.
How to make this pasta with cashew cream sauce?
The first thing you need to do is soak your raw cashews. Please start with raw cashews because the roasted ones will not get soft enough to make a smooth sauce. The cashews need to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes but you can soak them overnight if you plan ahead.
I used a high-speed blender which gives the best results. However, this will work in a food processor.
While the cashews are soaking, toss the tomatoes and onions slices in some olive oil then spread them out on a baking sheet. Use the same sheet for simplicity but keep them separated. Keeping them separated will make it easier to scoop the onions up and use them to make the sauce.
Next slice the tops off a couple of garlic heads and put them on the same baking sheet as the onions and tomatoes. Drizzle the garlic with some oil and cover them with a piece of tin foil. Now you can roast all your veggies at once. No need to juggle pans and adjust the oven temperature for different veggies. When the onions are soft and the skins on the tomatoes burst, pull them out and let them cool.
Check the garlic. If the garlic heads are really large then they might need a bit more time in the oven. Otherwise, let the garlic cool down until they can be handled.
In the meantime cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. You will want to use the pasta water later.
Make the Sauce
Now make that sauce! Squeeze the roasted garlic heads until the softened garlic cloves push up and out. Place the garlic in a high powered blender along with the roasted onions. Next, grab the softened cashews and add them to the blender. Pour in the Pacific Foods cashew vanilla unsweetened plant-based beverage and the lemon juice. Toss in the salt then give the blender a good whirl. Drizzle in the olive oil and adjust the olive oil and salt to taste.
Pour the cashew cream sauce into a saucepan to get it warm. Stir in the roasted tomatoes then add the pasta. Pour in the reserved pasta water. It’s good stuff and it will help you adjust the consistency of the sauce. Finally, dump the fresh spinach into the pan and stir it until the spinach leaves wilt.
Serve this with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg and some grated parmesan cheese.
This pasta dish is incredibly filling. All you really need is a green salad or some steamed veggies on the side but it is so good to soak up the extra sauce with some crusty sourdough bread.
Watch Our Video:
Check out our video and see how easy it is to make this crazy good pasta with cashew cream sauce.
Here are some other recipes you might like:
- Pasta Strands with Black Truffle Sauce
- Sriracha Carrot Hummus
- Butternut Curry Soup
- Einkorn Pasta with Morel Mushrooms
- Zucchini Garlic Soup
Spinach and Roasted Tomato Pasta with Cashew Cream Sauce
Yield 6 servings
Roasted tomatoes and fresh spinach are tossed with fettuccini noodles and smothered in a silky, creamy cashew sauce that is infused with roasted garlic and onions.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- 2 whole heads of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cashew vanilla unsweetened plant-based beverage
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces fettuccini pasta (or pasta of your choice)
- 2 to 3 cups fresh spinach
- Place the raw cashews in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let the cashews soak for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oven to 425°. Toss the tomatoes and onion in olive oil. Place them on a large sheet pan and spread them out in a single layer.
- Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the heads of garlic, exposing the individual cloves. Place the garlic heads, cut side up, on the baking sheet with the onions and tomatoes. Cover the garlic heads with a small sheet of tin foil.
- Sprinkle everything with salt and roast for 35 to 40 minutes until the tomato skins burst and become slightly charred. Depending on the size of the garlic, you may need to place the garlic back in the oven for an additional 5 to10 minutes until soft. Set aside when finished roasting.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water just before draining the pasta.
- When the garlic has cooled enough to handle, squeeze the garlic heads until the cloves push out of their skins.
- Add the roasted garlic and onions to a high powered blender. Toss in the soaked cashews, cashew vanilla unsweetened plant-based beverage, lemon juice and salt. Blend on high until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil and adjust salt to taste.
- Pour the sauce into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the roasted tomatoes and cooked pasta. Stir in about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir in the raw spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Serve hot with freshly grated nutmeg and parmesan cheese if desired.
The sauce can also be made in a food processor instead of a blender.
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 23 g
Saturated Fat 3.9 g
Sodium 429 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Sugars 6.8 g
Protein 11.4 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Thank you to Pacific Foods for sponsoring this post.
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