Today I am going to share with you one of my favorite dinners. It is so creamy and flavorful you just can’t believe there is no cheese or dairy to be found! And it is easy making it great for a weeknight dinner, but it also has an elegance to it making it perfect for a date night dinner as well.
Please enjoy the following recipe and let me know how it worked for you! I know I am going to head to the store and pick up some basil to make this tonight.
Creamy Basil Pasta (Dairy Free & Gluten Free)
(adapted from: http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/creamsavorysauces/r/dfcreamybasilsc.htm)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- ¼ cup chopped Onion
- 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup fresh Basil
- 1 tbsp GF Flour (Rice flour works well as does Potato Flour)
- 2 cups unsweetened Rice or Coconut Milk
- ½ cup Raw Cashews
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- ½ tsp Sea Salt, more or less to taste
- 1 lb Rice Pasta (or Quinoa Pasta)
As with every Gluten Free and Dairy Free recipe, make sure all ingredients you use are in fact Gluten and Dairy Free.
1) In a large pot, begin heating enough water to cook your pasta. (Hint, add some salt here and your noodles won’t stick together.) Once the water is boiling add your pasta. Begin preparing he sauce while you ait for your water to boil. (Cook pasta according to their specific directions.)
2) Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add the onion and garlic. Stirring often, cook until the onion is soft and fragrant (5-6 minutes). Add the fresh basil and cook until it is wilted and bright green (approx. 2 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer into a small bowl.
3) Using the same saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Whisk in the GF Flour with a wire whisk and cook for a little less than a minute, until the flour starts smelling toasted, but is not burned. Gradually add the rice milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Add the basil mixture into the pan, stir until well combined, remove from heat and set aside.
4) Using a blender, process the raw cashews until the mixture resembles very fine, powdery crumbs. Add the basil mixture, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Process until creamy. Return to saucepan and heat to desired temperature and consistency. Add more rice milk and sea salt to taste.
5) Add cooked pasta to the finished sauce, toss to coat all of the noodles, and serve warm. Garnish with fresh Basil if desired.