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.
  • 45
    Prep Time
  • 15
    Cook Time
  • x6
    Servings
  • 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
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer cashew cream to a bowl.
  4. Place 1/2 cup cashews, spinach, vegetable broth and garlic in the blender or in a food processor. Process to a paste consistency.
  5. Add cashew cream to pesto and process until combined.
  6. Coarsely chop remaining 1/2 cup cashews.
  7. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt if desired.
  8. Stir in 2 boxes of Modern Table penne pasta. Reduce heat to medium-high (this minimizes foaming). Cook 11-13 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Drain. Add pesto sauce and stir to coat the pasta.
  10. Serve in bowls, garnished with chopped cashews.

Recipe credit: From A Chef's Kitchen.

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