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Creamy Tomato-Basil Sauce

Once again it’s approaching 5:00 and I have no clue what’s for supper.

I looked around my kitchen, hmmm.

Earlier today I covered some raw cashews with water. I did not have a special plan for the cashews, I just knew I needed to use them. I had seen a video earlier this week of an Alfredo sauce using cashews as a base. Cashews make a wonderful creamy base for soups and sauces, that I do know!

So now I have a plan. A creamy sauce using the cashews that were soaking.

Then I looked around my kitchen to see what else would spark my cooking imagination. Oooh, fresh vegetables from the garden!

I had: potatoes we dug earlier this week, zucchini and yellow squash from the garden and some onions and bell peppers I picked up from the grocery.

I cut up the vegetables (potatoes, onions, orange bell pepper, yellow squash and zucchini) and placed them on my big stone ware cookie sheet. I sprayed them with cooking spray and sprinkled with salt, cracked pepper and smoked paprika (excellent spice for all veggies). Baked that at 425 degrees until tender.

After I had my vegetables in the oven I began a quick search for a cashew-based sauce. This lead me to Vegan Yum Yum’s Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta. So super creamy and thick and fantastic. A very nice change over the regular marinara sauce that is quite chunky after I load it up with cooked veggies.

My tomatoes in the garden are still green, so I opened a jar I canned last year. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes you can use a can of chopped tomatoes. One 15 ounce can should be fine. Since I used canned tomatoes I did not add the 1/4 cup water.

I also added some nutritional yeast to give it a ‘cheesy taste/texture’.I served the sauce over spelt noodles. The left over sauce will be served over left over baked vegetables.

This is my version of her recipe:

Creamy Tomato-Basil Sauce

    • 1 Large, ripe tomato (2 cups roughly chopped, 1 1/2 cups blended) or 1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup raw cashews
    • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
    • 1/4 cup water (if using fresh tomatoes)
    • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    • 2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
    • water for sauteing
    • 1-2 Teaspoons dried basil (or handful of fresh leaves)
    • Salt and pepper
    • Pasta or vegetables

    Directions

    1. Combine tomatoes, cahews, tomato paste, nutritional yeast and 1/4 cup water in blender.
    2. Blend until very smooth.
    3. Meanwhile saute minced garlic in some water for a minute or two.
    4. Add blended tomato sauce to the garlic. Season with basil and salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend seasonings.
    6. Serve over pasta or fresh veggies.

    Creamy Tomato-Basil Sauce - FAQs

    Everything tastes better with some sautéed garlic and onions. Sauté finely chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and golden, then add the sauce and let it simmer so the flavors can meld together.

    Yep, you heard me right, milk. Most of us aren’t used to adding dairy to tomatoey, meaty sauces, but adding milk to your bolognese adds such a richer depth of flavour, and results in much more tender meat.

    Marinara is a light and simple tomato-based sauce used to dress various pizza and pasta dishes, while tomato sauce is thicker with more complex flavors.

    Alfredo Sauce: Alfredo is a rich, creamy white sauce mixed with butter and grated Parmesan cheese seasoned with pepper, and sometimes nutmeg. Alfredo sauce is typically served on fettuccine noodles and topped with vegetables, chicken or shrimp.

    Adding a cornstarch slurry is an easy way to thicken sauce quickly. Simply combine equal parts water and cornstarch (start with 1/4 cup each). Whisk until smooth, then stir into the sauce.

    Yes, however, it won’t thicken in the same way as heavy cream. To get it thicker, whisk together 1 cup of whole milk (make sure it’s COLD), 2 tablespoons of flour, and 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter (cooled). Whisk until smooth.

    The additional fat in whole milk helps prevent the sauce from curdling. Milk is also more prone to separating than heavy whipping cream is, so it’s important to only let it simmer when you’re making a pasta sauce, never let it boil.

    This basic tomato basil sauce recipe is made using fresh or canned tomatoes, fresh basil, onions, garlic, and olive oil. This traditional red sauce can be served with pasta dishes, or used as a base for pizza, meat or seafood sauces, or dishes like lasagna.

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