This week we planted basil in our herb pot, and when it comes to spices, basil is at the top of my list. The power of fresh basil is such a transformative flavor in dishes, and this pasta speaks to that. This recipe is actually one that I adapted from a non-vegan cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin, which is a great little cookbook. It's also where I adapted the recipe from for my stuffed shells.
This is just a yummy, easy, and very fresh tasting pasta dish. A great one to have on hand for a quick weeknight dinner. The original calls for evaporated milk, which is a bit of a creamier sauce, but then you'd be drinking milk from a cow udder - who wants that?!
Basil Penne Pasta
2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 tsp. salt
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes in juice (or, if you don't want to puree this, just buy pureed tomatoes)
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil, and add the garlic. Cook the garlic about 3 minutes. Add the onion and a 1/4 tsp. of the salt. Cover, and cook until the onion is softened, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, 1/2 tsp. salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender to blend to the desired thickness, or you could transfer to a blender and puree.
Meanwhile, cook your penne - 8 oz. (1/2 a box), about 5 minutes in to your sauce cooking. Most pennes usually take 10-13 minutes.
2 T. - 1/4 cup soy creamer (like Silk - they sell it with the regular dairy creamers)
3-6 T. soymilk/rice milk/almond milk - any of the above
Stir in the cream and milk to the sauce, and just add to the desired thickness. Simmer 1 more minute.
Drain your pasta, and add it to the sauce, and cook just a minute or two.
1/4 cup vegan parmesan (not essential to the flavor though, so if you don't want to buy this just for this recipe, it's okay)
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
S&P to taste
Stir in the parm, basil, and S&P, and serve! It will yield about 4 servings.