tomato basil pasta with kalamata cream sauce

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.Β 

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…


    • spabettie says

      I know… I thought of the kalamata cream and just… OOH needed to do it right away! and I can’t wait to make this again.

  1. says

    “Jump, spin, fist pump, high kick.” LOL love it. And I am a super animated person too. You can read my facial expressions like an open book. I pretty much can’t lie plain and simple. And if I don’t like you, oh, you know! I can’t control it. Ok, back to the food – YES PLEASE. This looks perfect. I love kalamata olives and am adding them to my grocery list right now!

    • spabettie says

      nope, I can’t lie. even if I’m trying to joke a little fib, I just end up laughing. yeah, I don’t pretend much either, you kinda know if I’m … done with you πŸ˜‰ I think you’d really like this pasta – I hope you try it!

  2. says

    LOL I love it, I’m a TOTAL talk-with-my-hands talker too!! We’d get along just great, I do believe. hehe.

    Um, I saw this pic on Instagram last night and wanted to dive into my phone and devour that plate of yummy goodness. And now I want to dive through my laptop and do the same. I don’t even care that it’s only 9:30 in the morning, that looks divine. LOL

    • spabettie says

      yeah, I may have had the leftovers for breakfast the next day… πŸ˜‰ good to know you’re a hand talker too! I can just imagine us in a real time conversation! πŸ˜€

  3. says

    I’m drooling! I loooove kalamata olives–and pasta! This sounds divine. Dustin doesn’t like olives at all, but that’s ok, more for me. πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      yep, more for you! I wonder if he’d like this kalamata flavored sauce, without the actual whole olives with it?

  4. says

    I’m highly animated also! I think it’ll be quite entertaining for others when we get together ;). Kalamata cream sauce?! Sounds divine to me!!

  5. says

    Haha, this post makes me happy–and I can just picture it πŸ˜€ Maybe because I do the same thing…except I live by myself, so I’m usually gesturing and flailing around to no one in particular. Gotta show that excitement somehow, even if there’s no one there to show it! And yummmm, like the sound of this sauce!

    • spabettie says

      yep, gotta show the excitement! even if I am alone, if I’m on the phone, I’ll be pacing and walking around, gesturing… :)

  6. spabettiemom says

    Looks so good…..Ha Ha, Haven’t seen that ‘kick’ for awhile..but I totally remember it…guess I need to come over and see it you…

    • spabettie says

      oh, yes – especially the kalamatas or some of the salty green ones. regular black olives, no. and the garlic stuffed? GAAH so good! :) you would love this pasta then!

    • spabettie says

      thank you, Jeanette, that means a lot! (and yes, it IS kinda decadent – cashews give a wonderful richness).

    • spabettie says

      GOOD – I love the shaking of the fist! πŸ˜‰

      I have been doing the almond milk pasta sauce for years, even if it’s just starting with a basic roux. YUM. I hope you enjoy this one!


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