It is finally officially tomato season here and I couldn’t be happier. We have been getting lots of different tomatoes in our weekly CSA share from Porter Farms and they are so incredible that I have mostly just been eating them raw, on salads or otherwise. Though earlier this week I did make some delicious stuffed CSA veggies that turned out amazing. I stuffed tomatoes, green bell peppers, cubanelle peppers and zucchini. I stuffed them all with a delicious mixture made with some of our ground beef from Sojourner Farms, plus some black rice, crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil. It was a simple and totally perfect for the season dish!
Each fall when tomato season is winding down, I buy at least 1 or 2 8-quart bushels of roma tomatoes at the farmers market so I can make tons of stuff for the winter and hold on to that yumminess as long as possible. I usually make some chili, tomato sauce and I always slow roast a ton of them to freeze them. This way I can have the delicious fresh from the farm tomato goodness, all through the winter. I knew we were coming up on that time of year again and I had savored the frozen tomatoes from last year so much so that I actually had a bag or two left in the freezer, so I decided to pull a bag out to make this delicious sauce. If you are unfamiliar on how to slow roast tomatoes, please see the note at the end of the recipe. It is so simple and it is a wonderful way to really enjoy their beautiful flavors and juices.
If you wish to make this sauce and don’t have any fresh (or frozen) roasted tomatoes, feel free to use canned whole roasted tomatoes. Those would work just as well.
This sauce is incredibly creamy and rich, you would never believe it is totally vegan, the creaminess from the soaked cashews is really unbelievable. I promise this will fool any dairy-lover who takes a bite. We have an abundance of zucchini and yellow squash from our CSA, so I also quickly sautéed some of slices of both of those and tossed that with the pasta as well. Such a nice compliment and it basically gave us one big well rounded meal in one!
[print_this]Pasta with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce – Vegan + Gluten-free
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 cups roasted roma tomatoes*, halved (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours
- water to thin the cashew cream
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces of your favorite pasta – I used Jovial’s Gluten-free Brown Rice Penne Rigate
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over a medium high heat. Add in the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, add the roasted tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to simmer for about 10 minutes to heat the tomatoes through (if they aren’t fresh from the oven).
Meanwhile drain the soaked cashews and add them to the food processor. Puree until it is smooth and creamy, you can add water if you need to (a few tablespoons up to 1/4 cup as necessary).
Once the tomatoes have simmered for a bit, add them to the cashew cream and puree the mixture until smooth and creamy. Add the basil in, plus salt and pepper to taste. Pulse it a few times to mix.
Add the sauce back to the pan if it needs to be reheated, otherwise serve tossed with your favorite gluten-free pasta. I usually add a little of the pasta cooking water to the pasta when I add the sauce, to thin the sauce a bit so that it evenly coats all of the pasta. Also, if you wish, you can toss in some veggies like sautéed zucchini. Garnish with a little fresh basil.
* To slow roast tomatoes, preheat your oven to 325ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Half lengthwise 1 pound of roma tomatoes (approximately 8-10 tomatoes). Lay them all cut side up on parchment-lined baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with sea salt. You can also add onion, garlic, basil or any other herbs you’d like. Roast for 2 hours or until they have softened, wilted and wrinkled are a bit browned. This may take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes. Eat immediately or store in refrigerator with extra olive oil drizzled on top, or you can of course freeze them in freezer safe bags. [/print_this]