tomato basil pasta with kalamata cream sauce

by Kristina Sloggett

in Cooking Light,Dinner,Gluten Free,recipes,summertime,Vegan

I am a highly animated person.

I am not a good poker player, my face generally gives away what I’m thinking or feeling.

I talk with my hands. I gesture, I draw, I point and I direct. I can tell half the story with my hands – which is good because I am also very detailed and sometimes long winded…

A friend recently challenged me to go through one day without using my hands to talk. “Try sitting on your hands” she said. “Describe something with words in place of gestures” she said.

I gave her an Elaine-style “Get Out!” shove and shook my fist at her.

No, not really (well, I may have shook my fist, I love to shake my fist!)

…and I did try.

I failed within the first few minutes when stopped in the middle of the Whole Foods parking lot to be asked directions. I saw the road they were looking for and immediately started pointing and sweeping my arms…

I’m okay with being animated, gesturing and emoting all over the place. I am colorful and I like colorful.

When I first started working with Cooking Light, I kicked my leg WAY up in the air, high above my head (this always makes Jason laugh). I have been enjoying their recipes, inspired to make them my own, gesturing wildly the whole time.

This pasta certainly brought the gestures, the smiles, the Mmm noises. Inspired by a recipe in the August issue of Cooking Light, I went in a different direction with the cream sauce, and with good results. While I was saying it will make an excellent fall and winter comfort dish, Jason declared it “light enough for summer”.

Jump, spin, fist pump, high kick.

tomato basil pasta with kalamata cream sauce

inspired by Cooking Light’s Fettuccine with Tomato-Cream Sauce

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

serves four

1/2 pound gluten free penne pasta
salted water for boiling pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance soy free)
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice), divided
1 cup raw cashews
1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper
bunch fresh basil, rough chopped
4 roma tomatoes, rough chopped
handful (1/2 cup) kalamata olives, pitted and rough chopped, divided

In medium pot over high heat, bring salted water to boil. Add penne, boil 9-10 minutes, no longer. 

Meanwhile, over medium heat, melt butter in large pan. Add 1/2 cup milk, cashews, garlic, salt and pepper and 5 or 6 kalamata olives, stirring occasionally. While this cooks down, chop basil, tomatoes and olives.

When the pasta is cooked, remove from heat. The milk will have reduced, and can be removed from heat as well. Transfer milk-cashew mixture to blender, add remaining 1 cup milk and blend on highest speed until smooth. Pour back into pan, add penne, tomatoes, basil and kalamatas, stirring to combine. Serve and garnish with additional basil and olives.

*waves hands in air* please make this, so we can jump around and high kick together…

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