This is an amazing recipe. I’ve tweaked the original, which I picked up in Chloe Coscarelli’s new ‘Chloe Taste’ recipe book. I’ve kept the recipe vegan, but added some more interesting layers by incorporating a mirepoix. It is still incredibly easy to make and completely filling. Creamy and rich. You are not going to believe how good this is!
1 lb rigatoni
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup diced orange bell pepper
1/4 diced sweet onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 tsp Chinese chili paste
28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, with the juices
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp medium brown sugar
1/4 cup vodka
2/3 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large deep skillet/pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, chili paste, onion, bell pepper and celery and cook for about 3 minutes, until just translucent. Stir in tomatoes with juices, salt and sugar, bring to a simmer. Add the vodka and let simmer for 7 minutes to let the alcohol burn off.
In a blender, combine the cashews and water. Blend on high speed for 2 minutes. Carefully add the tomato mixture (in batches if necessary) and blend until smooth. Be careful, the tomato liquid will be HOT.
Prepare the pasta according to directions, to just al dente. Drain and return to pot. Add the blended tomato mixture and stir to coat. Grind some fresh pepper over the pot (maybe half a tsp – 3 or 4 twists), stir again and taste/adjust seasoning. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and sprinkle with vegan Parmesian. Serve with great bread and a big red wine. And don’t tell your guests that it’s vegan. Just sit back and listen to the comments.