Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 2-4 servings
1/2 lb. lumache or mezzi rigatoni
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. tomato paste
1 tbsp. crushed Calabrian chili pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vodka
Soak the cashews for a minimum of 2 hours in a bowl of water (the longer the better, so if you can soak them overnight, do it).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, add the soaked cashews to a blender along with 1/2 cup of water, nutritional yeast and juice of 1/2 lemon. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding extra water if needed.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat and sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, salt and crushed Calabrian chili pepper to the pan. Stir and let sit on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until the tomato paste deepens in color.
Add 1/4 cup of vodka to deglaze the pan. Stir until the vodka has fully evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the cashew cream sauce. Add more salt to taste.
Once the water is boiling, add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Strain the pasta and add it to the pan along with the sauce and 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss on medium heat until the pasta is fully coated in the sauce. Add more pasta water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.