Chloe Coscarelli became famous overnight for winning Food Network's Cupcake Wars with her vegan cupcakes, and the chef continues to draw attention for her plant-based renditions of beloved American cuisine (she is about to open a new fast-casual vegan restaurant in NYC called By Chloe). Most recently, the chef tackled Italian food with her latest cookbook titled Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen ($20), and this recipe for Pasta con la Salsa Rosa (or pasta with pink sauce) is not to be missed. Traditional pink tomato sauces contain cow milk cream, but Chloe's version uses cashew cream, a blend of cashew nuts and water. The result is a creamy, savory pasta sauce that tastes slightly nutty from the cashews. The preparation couldn't be easier — it's a no-brainer for a weeknight dinner. And while any pasta will do, the bucatini is particularly wonderful, because the holes allow the sauce to coat the noodles inside and out. Don't be alarmed if you begin slurping up the noodles like a kid again; it's almost unavoidable!
If sauce thickens too much as it sits, reconstitute the pasta by adding a little nondairy milk. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Adjust seasoning again to taste.
- 1 pound bucatini or thick spaghetti (or gluten-free pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup raw cashews*
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnish, cut into chiffonade
- *If you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak cashews overnight or boil for 10 minutes and drain. This will soften them and ensure a silky smooth cream.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add bucatini, and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Let cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, combine cashews and water in a blender. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Stir cashew cream into the tomato sauce, and turn off heat. Stir in basil, and toss with hot pasta. Garnish with basil chiffonade, and serve immediately.
- Main Dishes
- Serves 4 to 6