And I also had the opportunity to watch a YouTube episode – Shop your Freezer First to Save Money ~ The Freezer Treasure Hunt Episode with Mairlyn Smith and how to take stock of what’s in your freezer for future recipes. It’s always a great pleasure and lots of fun to watch Mairlyn Smith; she is entertaining and educational too. I took an improv class with her at a Food Conference and it was a fabulous hour and a half.
I watched her YouTube video after I was preparing this recipe so here is a woman after my own heart. I was going through my fridge and freezer, looking for ingredients to use up. Lucky me, I had a Costco-sized jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, a cup of cashew cream left over from another recipe (I made a non-dairy nacho cheese in a previous post) and I also had exactly 5 ounces of frozen blanched spinach in the freezer that I wanted to use up. This recipe was perfect and looks enticing.
First I prepared the sun-dried cream sauce. I was able to save the step of soaking the cashews since I already had the cashews puréed and ready to go. Into the blender went the cream, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
It turned into a beautiful shade of pale pink.
And look at that…just enough frozen spinach for this recipe.
I also had a huge bunch of fresh basil — which doesn’t last long in the fridge unless you make pesto out of it, so I had lots to use up.
I would have used a fusilli or penne pasta but my husband’s favourite is spaghettini, which is thin spaghetti so that’s what we used. All the ingredients chopped and measured and ready to go.
Bright and colourful garnish for the finished pasta.
By draining the pasta on top of the spinach, the spinach gets ‘cooked’. Look carefully to see the ring of cooked spinach around the drained pasta.
After the pasta and spinach is put back into the pot and set at medium-low heat, add all the rest of the ingredients. You can see the creaminess from the sun-dried tomato cashew cream sauce, taste a little bite from the lemon and a deep tomato taste from the additional sun-dried tomatoes. The basil and spinach add colour, texture and loads of flavour.
This dish is extremely versatile:
- It can be served as a main course. Add Parmesan or a Parmesan substitute if you want to add another layer of flavour.
- Because it is dairy-free, it can be served alongside your favourite chicken cutlet or other meat recipe.
- Use a gluten-free pasta to make it gluten-free and dairy-free.
I served this as a main course with a side salad. The family verdict? YUMMY.
Give it a try and enjoy.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta from Oh She Glows Every Day
For the Sun-Dried Cashew Cream
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. water
2-3 medium cloves garlic
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 lb. dried pasta, your choice
5 oz. package baby spinach
2/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
splash of olive oil, if needed
zest of 1 lemon
red pepper flakes, to taste
fine sea salt/freshly ground black pepper
halved cherry or grape tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
- To make the sun-dried cashew cream, soak the cashews covered in boiling water for 30-60 minutes. Drain and rinse. In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and salt until very smooth — if too thick, add a bit of olive oil or water.
- Make the pasta according to directions.
- Place the spinach in the colander first and drain the cooked pasta on top of the spinach. This is a fast way to wilt and warm the spinach.
- Put the spinach and pasta back into the pot and put the stove on low-medium heat.
- Stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil and cashew cream until combined. Add a drizzle of olive oil if the sauce is too thick.
- Stir in the lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Plate and garnish with halved grape tomatoes and chopped fresh basil.