Cashew Love

Have you ever loved a dish so much that you take more than your usual serving, eat it quickly before your stomach realizes that you’re overeating, and then take seconds? And then when the food settles in your stomach, all you can do is loosen your jeans, lie down and wait for the self loathing to pass? No? Oh… I was speaking hypothetically, of course…*averts eyes*

Recently, I’ve become a huge fan of nuts in food. Apart from peanuts (overpower a dish much?) I can eat nuts & seeds in most meals (provided it makes sense of course). I find I favour walnuts for their ‘meaty’ texture and cashews have earned second place simply because they add a nuttier, more complex depth to the meal.

Which brings me to my first recipe. A good friend of mine directed me to this vegan site http://www.ohsheglows.com  years ago and I fell in love. Two of my favourite recipes in the world are on this site and today’s recipe is a semi adaptation of one of them – Easy Tomato Basil Cream Pasta. I’m linking you to the original recipe which you’re more than welcome to follow on your own, but I have made my recipe notes (which might not qualify as an adaptation per se).

The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. This is SO incredibly easy to make that the Cashew sauce ends up being finished before the pasta. Usually I can barely wait as the pasta drains and when it does, I dump everything into one plate and then don’t talk to me until I’m done.

The Recipe:

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/10/easy-tomato-basil-cream-pasta/

My Changes:

  1. The first time I made this, I misread the 1 tsp black pepper and ended up putting 1 tbsp. Not the smartest idea :s . The aftertaste had me sweating bullets, but it was still totally worth the 3 glasses of water I had after. I definitely advise you to go heavy on the black pepper in this since it really accentuates the depth of the cashews. You can go reasonably heavy on the salt as well.
  2. I’ve never used fresh basil when making this. I have tossed a bit of dried basil into the mix on occasion (remember when a recipe calls for fresh herbs and you want to use dried, just halve the amount), but I personally don’t think it adds anything. I think basil is a very distinctive and cloying herb and should be used in moderation if at all.
  3. While you can use any type of pasta, I would recommend you keep it limited to stringy pasta – spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, capellini. It just feels more substantial to me.  You don’t even need to use pasta at all. In the rare occasion where there are leftovers, I’ve eaten this cashew mixture by itself straight out of the bowl.
  4. Most importantly: Don’t grind your cashews too much. It is WAY better when its chunky.

Don’t blame me when you overeat!

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