Wonderful vegan pasta Pomodoro recipe with a creamy sauce and tender vegetables.
With a creamy, rich tomato sauce nestled in every bend of the pasta, who can resist this pasta Pomodoro? The fusilli pasta, cooked to al dente is tossed together with vegetables and that thick marinara seasoned with herbs to make a great meal any time.
Of course, you don't need to use fusilli pasta if you have other favourites on hand. However, try to use a style of pasta that will help all that yummy sauce cling to it so each mouthful benefits. I specifically recommend Barilla (pictured on this page) because it always cooks well and I never have a problem with it coming out sticky. And it's available in a gluten-free version if needed.
This pasta Pomodoro recipe is vegan and also therefore dairy-free, using cashews to thicken the sauce rather than dairy products. The raw cashews do need to be soaked overnight in the refrigerator to get the smooth, creamy sauce this dish needs.
Feel free to swap out the vegetables for others you prefer. I'll often use sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, even small broccoli florets.
(Makes 4 servings)
1, 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can (796ml) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup pasta water, divided
10 ounces fusilli
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Add the raw cashews into a bowl with 2 cups cold water and soak in the refrigerator overnight. Before using, drain and rinse.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sauté until the it softens and starts to become translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute before adding the balsamic vinegar and mixing well. Add the Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes, then mix. Add the tomato paste and combine well with the onion mixture before adding the tomatoes. (If you're unable to find crushed San Marzano tomatoes, use whole and with clean hands, crush them as they are added to the saucepan.) Stir to combine then cover. Lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the fusilli following package instructions. When al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water then drain.
As the pasta and marinara cook, prepare the vegetables. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms and remaining sea salt. Sauté the mushrooms until they lose most of their water content (about 10 to 12 minutes). Add the zucchini and red bell pepper and sauté until the vegetables soften (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat.
In a high-powered blender, add the drained and rinsed cashews along with the finished marinara. Blend until smooth, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.
In a large pasta serving bowl, add the fusilli and top with the blended marinara sauce. Toss to coat evenly. If needed, to thin the sauce add a little more of the pasta water and toss. Add the mushrooms and vegetables then toss again and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 397 | total fat = 13.43g | saturated fat = 2.04g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 313.48mg | net carbohydrates = 51.65g | dietary fibre = 6.27g | sugars = 11.23g | protein = 13.14g