Posted by Megan | Dinner, Pasta, Vegetarian

I did it! I finally read a recipe and came up with my own way to make it, based on what the recipe suggested! My original plan had been to mostly follow the recipe (it was a vegan recipe, so I was going to substitute cheese in for nutritional yeast), but because we had leftover sauce from the Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza, I decided to go with the flow and use what was on hand. I actually ended up making the almost-original recipe the following week and I have to say, while I liked both, I preferred mine. I think the difference in sauce had a lot to do with it.

Cooking Notes: I do wish I had added some salt while cooking this. I would recommend adding salt while toasting the cashews, as well as in the reheated (or freshly prepared) sauce (I’ve included half the sauce recipe, since that is what I used). Also, I added mozzarella cheese to the sauce, but I don’t think it was necessary. It almost made things too thick, so that’s why I have included it as optional. Here’s the recipe I based it off of: Cheap and Simple Vegan: Vegan Spicy Creamy Kale Pasta.

Kale & Cashew Pasta
1/2 bunch of kale
1/2 cup whole raw cashews, chopped (into quarters)
1/4 cup whole raw cashews, very finely crushed
2-3 tbsp olive oil
8 oz. Farfali pasta
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 clove garlic
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
Salt, to taste

Begin by boiling water for pasta and preparing the cream sauce. Mince a half clove of garlic and add it to a pot with 1/2 tbsp of butter. Saute over medium heat until softened (about 2 minutes). Next add, the cream cheese, milk, and a dash of salt. Heat and whisk this mixture until a smooth sauce forms (about 5 minutes). Mix in finely crushed cashews and mozzarella cheese. Keep warm, making sure not to simmer, allowing mixture to thicken. Add milk if it starts to turn into a giant blob (more likely to be a problem if you are reheating the sauce).

While sauce is warming, add pasta to pot if water is ready. While pasta is cooking, prepare cashews and kale. Warm a saucepan over medium heat with approximately 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in it. Once warm, roast chopped cashews in oil, stirring constantly, until toasty and browned. Remove from heat. Turn heat down to medium-low and allow saucepan to cool. Wash kale and chop into smaller pieces. When pan has cooled, add a little more olive oil and toss in kale. Stir kale until it has cooked. Add cashews back to saucepan, stirring in with kale.

Once the pasta is ready, drain it and return to the pot. Stir in sauce, coating pasta completely. If necessary, sprinkle with salt. Serve pasta with kale/cashew mixture and enjoy!!

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