Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Refined Sugar Free - Egg Free - Tasty Full
About this time last year, I was in Italy indulging in homemade pasta with sauce made from the freshest ingredients. It was delicious. I savored every single bite knowing that it wasn't something my body could make a habit of, so I enjoyed it to the fullest while I was there. I took a cooking class to learn more about the ingredients and the simplicity behind the dishes that I was enjoying so much. One of the dishes that stood out to me from the class was a simple pasta dish that used olive oil, garlic, and sheep pecorino cheese as the cream sauce that coated the pasta. Simply simmering garlic for an extend time infused the olive oil to make for the most delicious flavors when combine with brilliant green broccoli.
I kept this all in mind when creating this dish. Now, I'm not saying this is Italian perfection here, but I will say that this is a fantastic non-dairy, gluten-free creamy pasta recipe that will satisfy any cravings that you may be having if you're longing for those good old pasta days.
The creaminess is created by using soaked cashews, which when blended have an incredibly smooth dairy-like texture. Cashews contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to olive oil. They also have high levels of copper, which plays a role in antioxidant defense, bone and connective tissue development, and energy production. Cashews also play a vital role in bone health, while also supporting relaxation and easing of muscle tension and pain because of the magnesium that they contain.
Enjoy this hearth healthy dish with the addition of anti-inflammatory, vitamin C rich broccoli. Pay mind to avoid over-heating the broccoli, so that it can retain its vast nutrient profile and flavor.
If you're wondering, my gluten free pasta brand of choice is Jovial. I find that most gluten free pastas turn mushy and bland once boiled, however, Jovial's holds its shape nicely and tastes like a gluten-filled boxed of pasta. Full disclosure, I must admit that I'm not the biggest fan of leftover gluten free pasta. It does tend to change texture a good deal after being refrigerated. I really enjoy this recipe with Jovial's Egg Tagliatelle, if you include eggs in your diet. If not, their brown rice pasta also works well.
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli
Soak time: 4-8 hrs., Prep time: 15 min min., Cook Time: 15 min.
Makes: 20 ounces
Serves: 4 (or 2 with leftovers)
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1/3 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk of choice
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes (from a can)
- ¾ - 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper (3/4 – 1 whole pepper, if roasting your own)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. loosely chopped fresh basil (optional)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ¾ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Pinch cayenne (for a touch of heat)
Garlic Broccoli & Pasta Ingredients:
- Gluten free pasta of choice
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- Soak cashews for 4 hours to overnight. When you're ready to make the sauce, drain and rinse cashews completely before adding to the blender.
- Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pause every now and then to scrape down the sides of the container, as needed.
- Set aside for flavors to meld.
Garlic Broccoli & Pasta Directions:
- Bring a large pot of water (for pasta and broccoli) to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and broccoli. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- While broccoli is boiling, heat olive oil in a separate pan over medium low heat. Add garlic slices, stirring occasionally for approximately 5 minutes (reduce heat as needed to avoid burning the garlic).
- After the broccoli turns bright green and has been in boiling water for 5 minutes, scoop out the broccoli and add it to the garlic and oil. Sauté on low for ~8 minutes to infuse the broccoli with garlic flavor.
- Pour red pepper sauce into the garlic broccoli mixture. Stir and warm over low heat.
- Remove pasta from the stove and strain in the sink. Scoop pasta into bowls (or plates, you get to choose) and top with creamy red pepper and garlic broccoli mixture. Serve hot and lick the bowl (or plate) clean.
Soaking: If you forget to soak the cashews for a couple of hours, boil a few cups of water and pour over the cashews to soak for 20 minutes. You will lose nutrient value by doing this, so try to plan ahead when possible. Note: if you don’t have a high-speed blender then a longer soak will be most helpful to ensure that there are no lumps or clumps in your sauce.
Serving Option: Add grilled or sautéed chicken, if you opt to eat meat.
Prep: Make the sauce a day or two in advance. While you’re at it, make it a double batch and freeze some! The night before you’re ready to use the sauce, pull out of the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost. This way it’s ready to reheat when you want to eat.
Storage: Sauce will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This can also be frozen (without the broccoli) for future use. Be sure to leave 1-inch headspace at the top of your jar, so that your jar doesn’t crack. You may need to re-blend after thawing to combine any separated ingredients.
Let us know how you're enjoying this dish in the comments below.
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