Make Real Food

On a Journey to Love Myself and (the food in) the World Around Me.

Maybe the best Pasta EVER?! [Vegan/Gluten Free]

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on April 19, 2013, 4 comments

As I type the police in Watertown have captured the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.  My heart aches for the lives lost, and the lives forever changed.  I am forever grateful for the service of police officers, EMTs, and all emergency personal who have gone through hell in the past four days to keep us safe, and whose daily job is to stand up in front of hell for each of us. 

Hug the ones you love…and run for Boston.

Tonight it was rainy and gloomy.  And I was tired.  And my heart ached.  And I needed comfort food.  Pasta, to be exact.  I’ve been tweaking this pasta recipe for a few weeks now.  It still has some room for tweaks especially if you ask Nathan – who wasn’t thrilled about *gasp* kale! Being in it.  But I think it has major potential.  It may not be prize winning yet.  But it’s getting there.  And as far as a creamy, hit the spot comfort food, it was perfect.

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  • 16 oz of Pasta you can use regular pasta, or gluten free.  I used brown rice pasta, pictured above
  • 2 cups Spinach, kale, or other greens (broccoli or peas would probably also be awesome!)


  • 2 cups cashews soaked at least 2 hours
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut and seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (not the same as brewer’s yeast)
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
  • Large handful of well washed cilantro
  • Garlic Powder to taste or 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
  • Onion Power to taste

Topping (optional but awesome!):

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil, or vegetable broth)
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1.5 cups bread crumbs (I used gluten free bread that had gone stale – just blended it in the food processor – but you could use non gluten free if you can tolerate that)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half (more or less to your taste)

Make It:

  1. Put cashews in a bowl and cover completely with water for 2+ hours (you can put them on overnight)

(When ready to cook)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Put your greens into your colander that you will use to strain the noodles.  When you strain your noodles, strain it directly over the greens – the hot water will wilt them slightly!
  3. Put the noodles on to cook according to your package directions if using gluten free noodles, they hold up best when baked if you cook them al dente
  4. Drain the water off of the cashews, and rinse them lightly.  Put them in your blender or food processor, along with all of the other ‘sauce’ ingredients.  If you don’t have a high powered blender or food processor, leave your cashews on to soak for at least 5 hours
  5. Blend the sauce ingredients until it is completely smooth and mixed together
  6. When the noodles are cooked, drain them on top of the greens.  Make sure you push down on the noodles to get all of the water out of the greens/noodles
  7. If you are not using the toppings / baking the pasta, you can stop now, and simply combine the noodles and sauce in a bowl and serve warm
  8. But if you’d like to continue to awesomeness
  9. Sautee  the ‘toppings’ ingredients until browned, being careful not to burn
  10. Pour noodles/greens into a 9X13, or similar size, casserole dish
  11. Pour sauce on top, spreading evenly so all noodles are covered
  12. Top with sautéed toppings, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until lightly brown and bubbly.  If it begins to get too brown before warm throughout, you can cover it with tinfoil to keep the toppings from burning
  13. Serve warm.  And enjoy.

    Comfort. [Vegan/GF Pasta Bake]

When the world doesn’t make sense, what is your ‘go to’ comfort food?


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