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…

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristine Genovese August 15, 2012 at 5:33 am

Mmmmmm … a kalamata cream sauce sounds delish! Can’t wait to try this out–maybe tonight! Thanks!

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2 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

thank you, Kristine! hope you enjoy it!

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3 Victoria (District Chocoholic) August 15, 2012 at 6:02 am

Kalmata olives AND cashew cream sauce? I die. Happy.

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4 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

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.

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5 Heather (Where's the Beach) August 15, 2012 at 6:05 am

“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!

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6 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

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 ;) I think you’d really like this pasta – I hope you try it!

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7 Jess August 15, 2012 at 6:27 am

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

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8 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

yeah, I may have had the leftovers for breakfast the next day;) good to know you’re a hand talker too! I can just imagine us in a real time conversation! :D

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9 j3nn August 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

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. :D

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10 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

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

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11 Linda Mercury August 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

Oh, NOMS!!!

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12 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm

why thank you! :)

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13 Min August 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

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!!

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14 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

yes – the more animated the better – let’s go! :)

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15 Allie August 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Haha, this post makes me happy–and I can just picture it :D 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!

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16 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm

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

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17 spabettiemom August 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

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 soon..love you…

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18 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I will do the kick next time I see you! :)

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19 Molly@hungryhungryrunner.com August 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

There are few things in this world that I love more than olives. And I’m always finding an excuse/reason to add them to dishes. I know not everyone shares my love, but I’m happy you do! :)

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20 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

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!

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21 Jeanette August 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I always love seeing how you make regular recipes calling for cream/dairy vegan. This looks so decadent!

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22 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

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

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23 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy August 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

oh yum that kalamata cream sauce sounds divine! and i love the red plates! They’re really pretty:)

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24 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

thank you Caralyn!

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25 Jenn August 16, 2012 at 3:25 am

we all love your creativity here, this seems easy enough and sounds so delish! thank you

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26 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

thank you, Jenn! it is very easy – several steps, but easy, and pretty quick!

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27 Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets August 16, 2012 at 3:55 am

Yes please. This looks delicious. I love using almond or soy milk in my pasta sauces and most people can’t even tell. I may have to make this tonight.
I’m a shake my fist at you kind of girl.

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28 spabettie August 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

GOOD – I love the shaking of the fist! ;)

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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29 Barb August 16, 2012 at 10:22 am

very inventive, looks like a great fall dish, I’ll be back to make it then!

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30 Lou August 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

heh, just saw someone else do this a couple days later than you. its ok, yours looks better ;)

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