Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

Tomtao Basil Cream Pasta with Course Cracked Pepper

When it’s summer, I can’t get enough of recipes that use up fresh tomatoes and basil.  But no matter what time of year, I’m always down with quick recipes.  You can make this sauce in the time it takes to boil the pasta.  My whole wheat pasta cooks in 9 minutes, so this simple sauce makes a 9 minute summer meal that’s hard to beat.

I wanted to make a dish similar to this one, but not using tofutti cream cheese. I decided to replace it with cashews. Cashews are the base of most of my favorite vegan cream sauces because they’re very rich tasting and blend easily, allowing you to create a velvety smooth sauce in your blender.

Tomtao Basil Cream Pasta with Coarse Cracked Pepper

Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta
Serves Two

1 Large, ripe tomato (2 cups roughly chopped, 1 1/2 cups blended)
1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Water

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced, optional
6 Ounces (ish) Whole Wheat Spaghetti
1 tsp Salt (edit: upped from 3/4!)
2-3 Tbs Wine or Water, optional
1-2 tsp Freshly Cracked, Coarse Black Pepper
1 Large Handful Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

Core the tomato, then roughly chop it. Add it to your blender, seeds, skin and all. Add cashews, tomato paste, and water. Blend until very smooth.

Add olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. Once water is boiling, add pasta. Pour sauce from the blender into the saute pan and bring to a simmer. Add salt and let cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If desired add wine/water to thin out the sauce. Taste and season more if necessary. Let simmer until pasta is finished cooking. Once pasta is cooked, drain. Add pasta to the saute pan with black pepper and freshly chopped basil leaves. Toss to coat. Serve immediately, garnishing with more pepper and basil.

Enjoy!  And stay tuned this week for a big, happy announcement.

Tomtao Basil Cream Pasta with Coarse Cracked Pepper


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  3. Jourdan

    I finally got around to making this – and it was awesome and super duper quick. I made it with cashew butter from TJ’s, canned tomatoes (no juice), and no basil – hey, I was working with what I had around. It was excellent.

  4. Amber

    i’m new to italian cooking. can u pls clarify wat do u exactly mean by TOMATO PASTE?
    i’d be glad if u answer back
    btw love the pics!:)

  5. M. Oxley

    Tomato paste comes in a can. You can find it in the canned tomatoes section at the grocery store. Usually it comes in tiny cans that cost under a dollar.

  6. M. Oxley

    I just made this and it’s very tasty. I’m so glad to have an easy, quick cream type sauce recipe. Much better for me than anything I’d buy in a bottle, I’m sure. I didn’t thin out the sauce with water or anything, but I did add more pasta, since the thicker sauce sticks to the pasta so you can add quite a bit of pasta to the pot and everything will still be well sauced. I added another half tablespoon of tomato paste as well.

  7. Mellie Mel

    I just made this for dinner for my omni husband and I. FANTASTIC! He absolutely loves it and was floored by the fact that it was made with cashews rather than cream. He asked “who realized that you can use cashews instead of cream in sauces?” I told him “Vegans did! ahahahahaha”. Fantastic recipe! Thank you!

  8. AM

    Tried this tonight. It came out fantastic, even though I didn’t blend it as smoothly as instructed. I added a pinch of nutritional yeast for body and a squirt of lemon juice to bring out the tartness of the tomatoes. Great recipe, and one I’ll be using again. :)

  9. ray

    Wow–this is great! I had to use canned tomatoes, and pine nuts instead of cashews, but it turned out fantastic. Looking forward to making it again with the proper ingredients.

    Thanks for a great recipe.

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  11. Nora Kuby

    oh my! this recipe is sooo much greater than the sum of its parts! when i first tasted the sauce after blending i was like ehhh…but when it’s hot and the flavors have melded and you add the salt, oh my gosh! i used penne pasta and they got filled with sauce, so whenever i bit into a noodle, the creamy goodness would ooze out, perfectoooooo!

  12. Katie

    I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was indeed super-quick… and so good. When we sat down and ate it, I said to my husband, I love this woman (i.e. you), she is amazing. Love her. Amazing. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  13. VeganLove

    Wow! Just found your website and so far your recipes look amazing!! Had to bookmark this!! I can’t wait to try them out and wow my vegan and non vegan friends alike! Thank you and be blessed!

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  15. Della

    Thanks a lot for this recipe which I just tried and loved. I put tomatoes from a can and harissa instead of tomato paste.

    Thanks also for your website!

    … From a French person who lives in a country where being vegan/vegetarian is so rare and so criticized… Hopefully people like you and Internet help a lot ;)

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  17. Nathalie Poulin

    This was a huge hit in my house tonight!
    I thinned it out with a little bit of white wine and added tons of garlic and onions and a few of my own spices.
    Next time, I think I’ll add a dollop of Veganaise (vegan mayonaise) to give a bit more of a flavourful tang!
    I’m so grateful for this website, the recipes are so simple and delicious that even my husband (who loves meat) can’t wait to see what I’ll make next.
    I love that I can make a quick and simple menu plan for the week for my family!
    Keep up the amazing recipes!!!


  18. Sarah

    OMG- I can’t even count the number of times my husband and I have had this since you posted it! :o It is the most delicious pasta I think I may have ever had- and I’m Italian!! :o SOOO good! It’s literally changed our lives! I’m a pretty inexperienced cook, so usually if I only had 20 minutes to cook I’d make something out of a can or box! :o Shameful! But now I can whip up this recipe, and it’s like heaven on a plate! =) THANK YOU!! =)

  19. Lucy

    I just found this blog last friday and fell in love with the recipes. I tried this one last night for dinner for me and my very carnivorous boyfriend…. we both LOVED it and plan on making it again soon. It was so easy to make and very fresh and flavorful tasting. Thank you so much!

  20. Pam

    I am making this recipe tonight. I am going to try to create a dish for my husband and myself using this recipe and also one without the tomato for our son who refuses to eat tomato sauce.

    This sounds wonderful and I can’t wait until it’s ready!

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  22. kerry

    Just made this and it was soo good. I upped the garlic by a bunch and am going to add some mushrooms next time. Thanks!

  23. Christy

    Um, delish! Yay for cashews. I’ve been craving a “cream”-based soup ever since a chef in the area made me a vegan cream sauce (he used pine nuts, and I tasted some ginger…). Anyway–awesome recipe! My carnivorous husband LOVED it, too.

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  25. sammyw

    just made this tonight and wow! amazing dish :) very filling, rich but not heavy. i love a sauce that sticks to the pasta!! will be making this over and over and over :) thank you for the recipe!!

  26. Eryn

    This pasta is so yummy! I have it now every night instead of spaghetti. It is so easy and has a great flavor to it! I will never be able to eat store bought pasta sauce again. :)

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  28. Adam Jordan

    I made this recipe last night and it came out delicious! My friends that do not care for vegan meals really enjoyed it which made me happy. I served it with some fresh bread with olive oil/balsamic vinegar dip and a fresh greens salad (mixed greens, green beans and cucumbers). Thanks for the recipe and I’ll be sure to try some many more of yours!

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  30. Julia

    Made this tonite and it was yummy!!! A bit too rich for me (who knew cashews could make something this creamy) but my carnivorous husband loved it. For anyone who’s thinking about making it – just do it, its awesome and super easy. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Rachel Rector

    I made this tonight for my vegan boyfriend. He loved it. I couldn’t tell the difference between this wonderful meal and a real cream sauce. I’ll admit I took much longer than 9 minutes but it was worth it. Definitely loved seeing how great creamy cashews are!

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  33. apartment3R

    I found your website and had to make this tonight. I used cherry tomatoes since they are a bit sweeter and turned it in to vodka sauce by adding some vodka. It came out great. I was totally surprised. Great work.

  34. Nachos

    I made my own version of this last night (subbed in some red capsicum/bell pepper because I didn’t have enough tomato).

    What a stunning recipe, thank you!!!!!

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  36. Kelly

    Oh man, this is such a good meal. I make it all the time – it is so easy and tasty!
    When the seasons come around again I will be growing my own tomatoes and basil, and hopefully eventually cashews, but for now I just visit the veggie cart down the road!

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  38. sweetie

    thank you for this recipe!

    i’ve already made the first part of the sauce and it looks lovely. can i use sherry cooking wine, balsamic vinegar or should i just use water when i simmer?

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  44. allison cecil

    I rarely cook but wanted to make something yummy and new for my husband and I so I decided to make this. It was SO YUMMY! This is certainly going to become a regular meal in our house. Thank you for creating a delicious and super easy recipe.

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