Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

I love this pasta recipe. It is fairly easy to throw together and it has basic but delicious ingredients.
Tomato Basil Cream Pasta
Adapted from Oh She Glows

2 servings uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
1 large ripe tomato or two smaller tomatoes
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt, or to taste
3-4 tbsp water or wine, (optional)
1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
2 cups chopped broccoli, lightly steamed


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Chop tomato and add it to the blender (including skin and seeds). Now add the cashews, water, and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.

2. Add your pasta to boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions.

3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to low. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes being careful not to burn it.

4. Pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet, stir, and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, watching closely. You may add water or wine to thin out the sauce to you desired consistency, but this is not necessary.

5. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the chopped basil and pepper. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse and drain it. Add the drained pasta back in the pot and now gradually add pasta sauce. Add steamed broccoli. Stir and serve immediately.
Whenever I use tomato paste in a recipe, I always have a lot of extra left over and it does not keep in the fridge for long. I started doing this a few years ago and now I never have to throw old tomato paste out anymore. It is also super convenient to not have to open a can and measure it every time I need it. I measure one tablespoon into plastic wrap, wrap it up, and freeze it. Repeat until the can of paste is empty. Then just thaw it when needed. 
Banana soft serve. This stuff is seriously the best invention ever. If you like bananas.
This is how it is made:
Freeze two bananas (cut into 1 inch chunks before freezing). Put frozen banana chunks and two fresh strawberries into a food processor (a regular blender will not produce the right consistency). Food process for five minutes. Yes, five whole minutes. This is what gives the banana a soft serve consistency. Then, Voila!
Try it! You won't regret it. Zoom in on these pictures. You will want to eat it. If you want to read more about banana soft serve, check out choosing raw

I have a raw food cookbook that I really want to try some recipes in. The only problem is that SO many of the recipes require a food dehydrator. After doing some research, I have found the the Excalibur seems to be the most highly recommended one. It has high ratings and the author of my cookbook says that it is the only reliable go-to model on the market. (And my mom told me she has heard good things about it... she is my best and most reliable resource ever!) The only problem is how expensive it is! I am all about buying quality products that will do the job right and won't break down unexpectedly. 

One of my favorite quotes: "Quality is the result of sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillfull execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives." ~William A Foster. 

My Amazon searching also sparked my interest for finding some other cooking tools that have been on my wish list. A Japanese mandoline and a spiral slicer just may make their way into my shopping cart. I'm afraid the dehydrator is going to have to wait though.

Once again, the night is flying by! I'm off to wash dishes after cooking dinner and making that yummy dessert. Yawn. Maybe tomorrow night will be a little less boring...
It is only Monday night after all.


  1. I looked at the original recipe from OhSheGlows and noticed you made a few changes, I think that's good to alter some of the recipes a little to make it your own AND alter it to your tastebuds. Can't wait to try this recipe tonight!


  2. And Brandon was like, can add chicken to mine?

  3. Yes! If I don't make any changes I just link back to the original recipe (like the tempeh), But I usually end up changing things around a little. Haha B- can you start a chicken and broccoli blog?


  5. Meant to ask you, we made the banana soft serve recently and I was working with a mini-Cuisenart food processor, it was a taking awhile to chop up the frozen bananas, more like 15-20min! So when it was done, it was awesome, but Brandon made a good point that it just tasted like a smoothie to us. It was hard to tell if maybe it had melted too much, and wasn't the correct consistency anymore? So my question is, when you have it, it's pretty much like soft serve ice cream right? I bet ours was being blended way too long b/c of my mini.

  6. I'm sure the bananas just melted too much. It really should have the consistency of soft serve ice cream, not like a smoothie. I have never had to mix it more than 5 minutes, so your food processor must not be a good one for that. Mine is mini too, but for some reason it still works!

  7. Click on the choosing raw link above if you haven't yet- she has some pics of how it looks like soft serve ice cream. The mixture should be ALL or almost all bananas, too many other fruit add ins take away from the consistency and can turn it into a smoothie too.