"Creamy" Pesto Pasta: A Healthier Alternative
The creaminess in this pasta comes from a vegan crowd favorite of cashew cream. So many recipes call for the soaking of cashews, but I have always been successful with just tossing everything in my Vitamix and calling it a day.
The cashew sauce is wildly simple: salted cashews, roasted garlic and filtered water. That is it. I am also a really big fan of my pesto. It is a bit more acidic and spicier than traditional pesto. I also make it with pistachios instead of pine nuts because I prefer the flavor and texture.
This time around we used grilled chicken breast but you could of course use shrimp, tofu or any protein of your choice. I also used gluten free noodles for my family and shirataki noodles for myself. Shirataki noodles are basically zero calories (okay 30 or so calories) if you have been hiding under a rock and have never heard of them. 😊
This recipe serves 6-8, so it is great for leftovers if you do not have a large family.
For the pesto:
2 cups basil leaves, packed
1 cup pistachios
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients except for the basil into a food processor and blend until all ingredients are like a gritty paste.
Add the basil and pulse until it resembles a pesto like consistency.
For the Cashew Cream:
8 oz salted cashews
1 roasted garlic clove
1 – 1 ½ cups filtered water (depending on how thick you want it to be)
Salt to taste
Noodles of your choice (whole box/package) I like penne, rotini or other short noodles.
Protein of choice (we used grilled chicken)
Garnishes: more parmesan, red pepper flakes, more basil.
1. After you have made the cashew sauce, the pesto and cooked your noodles combine the three is a large pan or skillet and toss until the noodles are coated. Add the protein of your choice and enjoy. 😊