The season of endless eating: creamy puttanesca sauce over spinach pasta

Ok, so it’s not really a puttanesca sauce if it’s creamy…but if we continue with that line of argument, then I suppose it’s not really creamy because there’s no cream present.  So, I guess you could also call it a “tomato-olive-caper-with-puréed-cashews-and-other-stuff” sauce over spinach pasta.  But, let’s not be so reductionist and save ourselves a breath.

Creamy puttanesca sauce:

  • casheese (recipe below)
  • tomatoes, diced
  • garlic, minced
  • yellow onion, diced
  • capers
  • olives (I used those damned Peruvian ones, but I think kalamata would be much better)
  • oil (I used olive, but I should really branch out)
  • lemon juice
  • dried oregano
  • dried thyme
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh basil
  • spinach pasta (Ideally, of course, you should make your own.  But I did not do that–instead, I suffered a WF-freakout and bought some.  You know, the essentials.)

To make the casheese (cashew cream), you need to soak the cashews for at least a few hours–overnight works, too, but isn’t necessary.  Throw it into the food processor along with minced garlic, nutritional yeast, miso paste, some black pepper, a dash of salt, and whatever herbs and spices you want to use (I used dried thyme).  You can adjust the proportions to suit your fancy.  Process away until it’s smooth–if you use a shitty blender like I do, you will need to manually agitate it from time to time.

To make the creamy puttanesca sauce, start with the oil and garlic.  Add the onions, sautée until they go a little limp.  Then, I added the lemon juice, olives and capers, stirring that around for a hot second.  Then, I threw in the diced tomatoes, letting the juices reduce for a little while.  I added the dried oregano and a little bit of thyme (I had already put some in the casheese), and then threw in the casheese.  Turning off the heat, I added a few sprigs of parsley and stirred it all up in there.  I threw some fresh basil on top, and tucked in.

Overall, I was quite pleased with this sauce.  It was super simple and has a pocketful of interesting flavor contrasts.  And don’t even get me started on mouthfeel…mmm…

I actually think the amount of casheese I used was a bit much–if I were to make this again, I would up the tomato and lessen the casheese.  But, to each his or her own, says Mrs. LeBon-Hsu.  Hear hear, darling, hear hear!

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~ by algernon on February 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “The season of endless eating: creamy puttanesca sauce over spinach pasta”

  1. I just made your fabulous sauce with some home made spinach pasta (no egg of course)
    You inspired me to bust out the pasta machine! It was incredible with the sauce.

    • I am more than a bit envious of your pasta machine…that’s next on my list, right after a dual food processor/blender and a dehydrator.

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