This is a real omnivore-pleaser. It always gets rave reviews. It’s tasty on pasta, roasted vegetables (asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, etc.), or even shredded raw vegetables (cabbage? spinach? kale?)… or a combination of them in a big bowl. It’s a great way to go heavy on vegetables for dinner. There is no oil or other added fat in this recipe. I based this on the "Vegan Rose Sauce" recipe from Cearaskitchen.com and am grateful to Ceara for the idea.
Boil some water and pour it over the cashews. Cover and let them soak for 20 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients (or soak the nuts in cold water for at least 2 hours).
- 1 cup raw cashews
Drain the nuts and put them in the blender with the broth or water and liquefy them to the point that the cashews are completely dissolved.
- Scant 1 cup vegetable broth or water
In a Dutch oven or other large pan, water-sauté the garlic and onions over medium heat in 2 Tablespoons vegetable broth or water until the garlic and onions are soft (or microwave for 2-4 minutes with 1-2 Tablespoons water in a non-plastic container).
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium red or white onion, roughly chopped
Add tomato sauce and nutritional yeast to the pan and cook about 5 minutes.
- 28-ounce can plain tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Add in the cashew cream and the basil and use an immersion blender to create a smooth sauce (or let it cool a little and use your regular blender). Add water if the sauce is too thick. Make it as smooth or chunky as you like.
- 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves (lightly packed), roughly chopped (or 1 Tablespoon dried basil, but fresh basil really makes a difference)
Taste. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes as desired.
- Salt (I use ½ teaspoon) + Pepper + Red pepper flakes
Timing 25-30 minutes
Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed if you water-saute or microwave the aromatics