Creamy Cashew and Spinach Pesto Penne
Here's an easy, delicious, nutritious plant-based dairy-free and gluten-free meal that’s perfect for a weeknight yet elegant enough for guests.
Buy the Noodles
- 2 (8-ounce) boxes Modern Table Penne
- 2 cups raw or roasted cashews, divided
- Water for soaking cashews
- 1 (5-ounce) container baby spinach
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup cashews, turn the heat off and let stand for 30-45 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking water then drain cashews.
- Place soaked cashews in a blender or mini food processor. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the soaking water. Puree the cashews until very smooth, adding small amounts of water as necessary until you have a creamy consistency.
- Transfer cashew cream to a bowl.
- Place 1/2 cup cashews, spinach, vegetable broth and garlic in the blender or in a food processor. Process to a paste consistency.
- Add cashew cream to pesto and process until combined.
- Coarsely chop remaining 1/2 cup cashews.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt if desired.
- Stir in 2 boxes of Modern Table penne pasta. Reduce heat to medium-high (this minimizes foaming). Cook 11-13 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain. Add pesto sauce and stir to coat the pasta.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with chopped cashews.
Recipe credit: From A Chef's Kitchen.