Back with another episode of Delish Pasta! I’m kinda shocked that I haven’t shared this recipe with you yet as it’s one of my go-tos for busy weeknight dinners.
We eat a lot of basic meals around here and I sometimes think that they aren’t creative enough to be exciting for you. But, then I remember that you all crave quick and easy the same way I do and are A-OK with recipes that maybe shouldn’t be actual recipes.
This is a food blog after all, not a gourmet magazine.
If you like creamy pasta sauces, then you will love this one. Steps below!
Roasting Cherry Tomatoes
The first step is roasting the cherry tomatoes, onion and garlic until super soft and slightly caramelized. Tomatoes this time of year aren’t winning any flavor awards, but roasting them like this heightens their natural sweetness and makes for a great depth of flavor.
Could you use other tomatoes? Sure! I prefer cherry tomatoes because I can open a package, give them a quick rinse and them dump them onto the baking sheet- no chopping required.
Pop them into the oven and let them get nice and juicy- if they burst, even better! Just make sure to save all that yummy juice when you go to make the sauce.
Dairy-Free Cream Sauce for Pasta
Place the roast tomatoes, garlic and onions into a blender along with some raw cashews and reserved pasta water.
I know I’ve told you for years that you need to soak your cashews ahead of time, but spoiler alert- I never do it. My current blender is fairly high powered and the warm pasta water helps to blend the cashews into a very creamy sauce that I usually skip soaking the cashews first.
Who has time to remember to do that?
If your blender isn’t very strong, then I still recommend soaking the cashews before hand. Otherwise, forget about it.
The second trick here is using reserved pasta water to make the sauce. Not only does the reserved pasta water have a nice salty kick (you did salt your pasta water, right?) it also contains starches from the pasta that will help the sauce cling to the noodles once tossed together.
It’s one of my secrets in making delicious vegan pasta. Reserved pasta water is like liquid gold so make sure to save some before draining your pasta!
The Best Vegan Pasta
That’s it! How simple was that sauce to put together? Now toss with some cooked ziti or rigatoni and ta-da, dinner is served.
We’ve cut back so much on our dairy intake thanks to quick vegan pasta recipes like this and I’m so thankful. I notice such a difference in how I feel when I reduce my cheese intake. Pretty powerful!
I also use a regular pasta in most of my pasta recipes and that’s because I feel like I get plenty of fiber through all of the fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains that I constantly eat. I also really prefer the taste of regular pasta over the newer legume pastas or whole grain options.
That being said, this sauce would still taste great with a wheat or chickpea pasta if you prefer. I also ended up adding some vegan tempeh bacon to go on top! You can make your own or purchase it from the store if you want to go this route– I simply saute it right before serving and crumble it into the cooked pasta along with lots of fresh basil.
Yes, I know that basil isn’t in season right now but it’s so delicious and vibrant that I shell out the extra few bucks for this dish. Spinach would work too!
Hope you LOVE this vegan tomato pasta as much as we do. If you try it, come back and rate it and leave a comment. Seeing you make my recipes makes my day and your feedback helps other readers!
More Vegan Pasta Recipes
Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo
Linguine with Shiitake Wine Sauce
Easy Vegan Pasta
Spicy Vegan Pasta with Sausage
Spicy Tomato Penne Pasta
Vegan Tomato Basil Pasta! This creamy vegan pasta recipe is so delicious and perfect for busy weeknights. You’d never guess it’s dairy-free!
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes
- 1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb. ziti or other pasta
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/3 cup freshly torn basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss together the cherry tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until vegetables have softened and tomatoes have slightly burst.
- While the vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water (use the 3/4 teaspoon salt) to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until tender according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
- Add the cooked tomato mixture, cashews and 3/4 cup reserved pasta water to a high powered blender and puree until very creamy. Depending on the power of your blender, this may take ~5 minutes. Taste, adding more salt/red pepper flakes/black pepper as needed.
- Toss the hot pasta with the creamy tomato sauce and the torn basil leaves. Serve immediately!
- I photographed this with leftover crumbled tempeh bacon that I had on hand. You can use this tempeh bacon recipe or purchase it if you want an extra protein boost!
Keywords: vegan pasta recipe