Pink pasta?! We knew that we had to try a plant-based version of this vibrant, creamy dish! Spoiler alert! Major Success!
This comforting dish combines a rich, savory tomato paste with noodles and vegan cashew cream. This weeknight-friendly main dish or side is made with just ten ingredients and only 30 minutes. Let’s cook pasta!
Recipe Inspiration: Penne alla Vodka
A Female foodie from a Newport Beach Italian restaurant inspired this vegan pink pasta recipe.
This dish is similar to the Italian-American penne alla vodka, which uses penne pasta coated in a creamy, tomatoey sauce. Vodka is added to prevent cream from separating from tomatoes.
It is not known where penne ala vodka originated, but the dish became very popular in Italy and America around the 1980s.
Vegan Pink Pasta Recipe
This pink pasta sauce’s savory base is made up of a mixture of onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Add tomato puree and crushed tomato paste to your recipe for their vibrant color and rich flavor.
Homemade cream of cashew is then added to the sauce for a richer taste and a gorgeous pink color! Cashew cream can be made by blending water and cashews, then adding nutritional yeast for a subtle cheese-like flavor.
Add the noodles and stir to coat. Then, enjoy! For freshness and more flavor, we love to top with fresh basil or vegan Parmesan cheese.
- Water boiling
- Salt 1 tbsp (for seasoning water)
- Choose your favorite pasta (penne works best // gluten-free if needed // we prefer Jovial as a brand).
- 3/4 cup raw cashews*
- Use 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. If oil is not available, use water instead and add more as required.
- White or yellow onion diced to 1 cup
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced. (3 tbsp. Minced).
- Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp
- Can of crushed tomatoes (15 oz)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
- Sea salt, 3/4 tsp
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- One cup of water (plus extra for soaking).
FOR SERVING optional
- Freshly chopped basil
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Add 3/4 cup of cashews to a bowl. (90g // adjust the amount if you are changing batch size.) Cover with water at least two inches deep. Set aside for soaking.
- Bring a large pot with well-salted, salted water to the boil.
- Over medium heat, warm a large skillet with a rim (or preferably – a large pot). Add the olive oil and onion and cook for about 4-5 mins. Continue cooking for 30 seconds after adding red pepper flakes, garlic, and olive oil.
- Bring to a simmer the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and salt. Reduce heat, cover,r, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and stir it well. This will prevent the pasta from clumping. Cook according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup (120ml) of water.
- Drain the cashews, and then add them into a high-speed blender along with 1 cup of water (240 ml/adjust amount if changing batch size). Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the cashew mix to the tomato sauce and stir well. Pour in a small amount of pasta water at a time until the sauce is thick and pourable. Add more salt or nutritional yeast to increase the overall flavor.
- Stir in the pasta and sauce. The sauce should be very saucy, and the pasta should be well coated. Garnish with fresh basil, vegan Parmesan cheese, and (optional).
- In a refrigerator, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to three or four days. The sauce can be frozen for up to a month.