This tomato cream sauce pasta is so easy to make.
It comes together in 30 minutes, but you’d never guess from the nuanced flavor profile.
Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta
I’m a fan of homemade pasta sauces. In fact I’m a bit of a snob.
With few exceptions, I refuse to buy pasta sauce. Try my homemade pesto recipe. You’ll never look at store-bought pesto the same way.
This tomato cream sauce is another example of why homemade is always better.
This sauce tastes incredibly decadent, but it’s vegan. The combination of ground cashews and almond milk makes it thick and creamy without the heavy feeling that comes after eating a dairy-based cream sauce.
Another thing I love about this sauce: it doubles as a pizza sauce. It’s great over a flatbread or puff pastry with your favorite pizza toppings.
Make Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta!
Whether you need a quick weeknight meal, or something elegant for a fancier occasion, this Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta fits the bill.
Make it this week!
This recipe calls for tomato paste.
Rather than buying a can of tomato paste at the grocery store, using a few Tbsps, and watching the rest go bad in your fridge, try tubed tomato paste. It keeps well in the fridge and is easy to store.
Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta
For the tomato mixture:
- 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 tsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
To finish the sauce:
- ½ cup cashew pieces
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice
- ½ cup pasta water, reserved
- 1 pound pasta
- Parmesan, Vegan like this one, or freshly ground Parmesan, optional
- additional parsley, for serving
Cook the veggies
- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ½ tsp sea salt, and the pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Now turn the heat back down to medium, and add 1 Tbsp of water to deglaze the pan. Keeping the heat on medium, add the tomatoes and remaining ½ tsp sea salt. Cook for five more minutes.
Add the tomato paste and brown sugar
- Next, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. The tomatoes with get soft and break down. Turn off the heat.
Start making the pasta
- At this point, start boiling the water for the pasta. Proceed to cook the pasta according to package instructions, but stop cooking the pasta about ¾ of the way through. The pasta will cook its remaining few minutes in the tomato cream sauce.
Process the sauce
- While the pasta cooks, continue making the tomato cream sauce.
- Add the cashew pieces to your food processor or blending apparatus. Now very carefully pour the cooked tomato mixture into your food processor. Process the tomato mixture and the cashew pieces until mostly smooth.
- Now add the ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, and process until smooth, about 1-3 minutes. There will still be a little texture to the sauce.
Finish the sauce
- Transfer the tomato cream sauce back to your skillet, and turn the heat to low. Add the ½ cup water, and stir until the water is incorporated, about 3 minutes. The sauce will begin to simmer a bit. The tomato cream sauce is done.
Bring it all together
- At this point, your pasta will be just about ¾ of the way cooked. Once it is, drain the pasta. Don't forget to save ½ cup of the pasta water!
- Put the pasta back into the pot you cooked it in. Turn the heat back on to medium under the pot, and add the tomato cream sauce and the ½ cup reserved pasta water. Gently fold the sauce and the water it into the pasta.
- After about 3 minutes, taste the pasta. If it's cooked to al dente perfection, turn off the heat. If it needs to cook longer, continue cooking the pasta and folding in the sauce for another minute or two.
- Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, and fold in the remaining parsley and some Vegan Parmesan or freshly ground Parmesan. Or, omit the Parmesan completely.