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rigatoni pasta with roasted red pepper cashew cream sauce and basil in a white bowl
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Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Pasta (Vegan)

This vegan/dairy-free Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Pasta is super quick and easy to make, nutrient-dense, and deliciously creamy!
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cashews, dairy free, pasta, pepper, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 med-large red bell peppers
  • Approx. 2 Tbsp olive oil (to toss red peppers in)
  • Approx. 2-3 cups pasta of choice (enough for 4 people; I used Rigatoni)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (whole, not roasted)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 1.5 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup boiling hot water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Remove core from red bell peppers and slice into quarters. In a large bowl, toss cut bell peppers in olive oil till evenly coated. Spread on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for approx. 20 minutes (they should be tender and slightly browned).
  • While bell peppers are in the oven, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot once done.
  • Add cashews, garlic, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper to a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix).
  • A few minutes before the peppers are done, bring a small amount of water to a boil (1/2 cup).
  • Once peppers are done, remove from oven and add to blender along with boiling hot water. Blend ingredients until thick and creamy. This should only take about a minute! Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Pour sauce over drained pasta, and stir until pasta is well-covered. Serve with cracked pepper and some fresh basil. Enjoy hot!

Notes

*If you do not have a high-speed blender, you may find that soaking the cashews will result in a creamier texture. To do this, simply place the cashews in a glass, jar, or bowl and cover them with water. Place them in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours before making this recipe. If you DO have a high-speed blender, I promise you can skip this step!
*If you've made more sauce than needed, or if you intentionally want leftovers, I would advise only mixing the amount of pasta/sauce you're going to immediately eat. Otherwise, too much of the sauce will absorb into the pasta and it'll no longer be creamy. Instead, store leftover sauce in an air-tight glass container in the fridge. Both the pasta and sauce can be reheated in the microwave and mixed together right before eating!
*This sauce doesn't only have to be used for pasta - try adding it to grain bowls or over toast!