Thank goodness my 87 year old Italian grandmother doesn’t know how to work the internet, because this is the best tomato sauce I’ve ever tasted.
This sauce combines the sweet acidity of tomatoes with the umami and depth of mushrooms plus the creaminess blended cashews. The result is creamy, flavorful, and delicious, all without having to add meat or dairy.
The creamy tomato sauce is heavy enough to be a perfect complement for zoodles or spaghetti squash. On the other hand, it’s healthy and veggie-filled enough to go on your favorite pasta (lentil or regular).
There’s a LITTLE advanced prep work: the recipe asks you to soak the cashews for 4 hours before using, but in a pinch, you can use hot water and get away with doing an hour or less, it just likely won’t be as smooth.
Adjustments based on your Ayurvedic dosha:
- The recipe is most suitable for vata because of the sourness of the tomatoes and the sweetness of the cashews. Vatas do best if they serve this on well-cooked veggie noodles (use a higher proportion of sauce than noodles), or regular noodles.
- Kaphas: reduce the amount of cashews or use sunflower seeds instead. You could also add some warming spices like cumin, pimenton, and ginger. Definitely serve on top of cooked veggie noodles rather than raw veggie noodles or regular noodles.
- Pittas: reduce the amount of tomato sauce, adding more greens, water, and cashews. Consider adding fennel to cool it down. Serve on top of raw veggie noodles.
This is one of those recipes that makes people stop and say “wow”. Give it a try.
Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce Recipe
(adapted from the One Part Plant Cookbook by Jessica Murnane)
- olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 16 oz white or cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp better than bouillon (or replace water and bouillon with vegetable stock)
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- Soak cashews in 1 cup water for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and add garlic. Sautee until it starts to brown.
- Add mushrooms, tamari, and thyme.
- Cook, stirring every minute or so, for 6-8 minute, until the mushrooms start to release their water.
- Combine veggie broth and cashews in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Pour cashew sauce into the mushrooms, and simmer, letting the sauce start to thicken.
- Add spinach, and stir.
- Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to heat up.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.