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Time to transition to lighter and brighter flavors that channel spring, right? I have been daydreaming of spring since winter started and one of the flavors that is always reminiscent of spring, for me at least, is the brightness of lemon. I knew a lovely pasta dish topped with a luscious and healthy creamy sauce would be perfect to share with you all.
This dish would be perfect for your spring brunches, girls' lunches, family dinner or for your Easter celebration. This sauce is so easy to make, plus the creamy texture comes from cashews, soaked, versus the traditional heavy cream.The sauce has a lovely cheese-based flavor thanks to the nutritional yeast, tartness from the fresh lemon juice with a tangy flavor from the Dijon. Then, for an extra punch of flavor, I added some fresh basil leaves, which also adds to the brightness to the dish. This sauce can be prepared ahead of time to save time and topped on your freshly cooked pasta when you need it. I prefer wide noodle pastas for this substantial sauce. Bon appétit friends.
1 cup of raw cashew pieces, soaked, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
1/2 cup of water
1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
12-14 basil leaves, fresh
3 garlic cloves
1. Soak your cashew pieces for at least 1 hour or more, if you aren't using a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, in filtered water.
2. Drain and rinse with fresh water.
3. Add the cashews, yeast, water, basil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
4. Blend on the highest setting for 40-50 seconds or until creamy smooth.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
6. If you aren't consuming immediately, add the sauce to a container and cover.
7. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
8. If consuming immediately, once your pasta is cooked/drained, place the pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sauce over the top.
9. Toss and then garnish with extra basil leaves, freshly ground pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and/or parsley.
Tips: Buy raw cashew pieces when making sauces because they’re cheaper. Soak the nuts to break down the enzymes that prohibit proper digestion. Plus, soaking allows the cashews to blend into a creamy texture. Drain and rinse with fresh water.