Pasta Alla Vodka with Cashew Cream!I’m so excited to share this recipe. It has definitely become one of my family’s new favorites. Our son loves it so much that he even went to the trouble of making it all by himself one night when I said we were just having leftovers (nobody ever gets excited over leftovers lol). The only additional step with my new vodka sauce recipe is that you have to process the cashews with water in a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix, to make a cashew “cream”. It’s an extra step that takes no more than 3 minutes but trust me, it is so well worth it. When you taste the sauce, you will absolutely NOT believe it is butter, cream and cheese-free. It’s important to note that the canned tomatoes you use are very important to the end result. You definitely do not want to just use any old can of tomatoes. Go with San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzanos are the most famous plum tomato to come out of Italy and considered by many cooks to be the best tomatoes to use in a sauce. They have a mild sweet flavor and low acidity. But believe it or not, all canned San Marzano tomatoes are not created equal. Although Cook’s Illustrated would disagree, I personally prefer Cento brand’s organic San Marzano tomatoes. It is not easy to find the organic variety at the supermarket, but if you use them as much as I do then you can order a pack of 6 from Amazon. You can always use the extra cans to make my San Marzano Oven Baked Chicken =) Although the Pasta Alla Vodka is a weeknight dish for us, it would also be a great dish for guests. If you want to make it extra special, check out this recipe for adding pan-seared shrimp.
Pasta Alla Vodka
A clean recipe for pasta alla vodka! The rich and creamy sauce is made with cashew cream rather than the butter, dairy cream and cheese used in conventional versions.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 1 large can (35 ounces San Marzano tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic (sliced very, very thin)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- 10 ounces whole grain penne
- 2 tablespoons Vodka (I like Devotion Vodka)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Fresh basil (chopped)
- Add the tomatoes to a blender container and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion; saute for 6 to 7 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in the tomato paste and season with salt. Add the pureed tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain (but do not rinse the pasta!) and set pasta aside.
- In a high speed blender, add the vodka, water, cashews and coconut sugar; process on high speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour the vodka-cashew cream in with the tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and season with salt to taste.
- Add the cooked pasta in with the sauce and toss to coat. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve warm with chopped fresh basil.