Lemon Cream Pasta with Spinach
Lemon Cream Pasta with Spinach- made with a comforting dairy-free sauce, this creamy pasta is as easy as it is delicious. Less than 10 ingredients + 30 minutes to make!
Other than our daily walks in the neighborhood, I’ve only been out of the house twice in the past week, both times to go to the grocery store. They actually rang me up at the front of the entrance while one of the employees did my shopping for me. The control freak in me wasn’t thrilled about having someone else pick out my produce but I’m all for keeping everybody healthy, even if it means eating a few bruised apples.
With that in mind, I think it’s likely that we’re all dreading visits to the grocery store right now so I’ve been trying my best to focus on developing recipes that use up pantry staples. I’d say this one fits the bill! For one it includes pasta which, based on the empty shelves at the store, I’m guessing most of you probably have on hand. The sauce is made from a base of raw cashews which I always have stocked because they’re a must when you eat dairy-free. Other than that you just need a few basic ingredients and it only takes 30-minutes to whip up!
How to Make Lemon Cashew Cream
You might think that you need a super pricey high speed blender to make cashew cream but you don’t. I use my NutriBullet and it works like a dream.
All you have to do is blend soaked cashews with water, lemon juice and salt. To soak the cashews you place them a bowl covered with a few inches of water and let them sit for 6-8 hours or overnight. If you’re in a hurry you can do a quick soak in boiling water for 30 minutes.
For this recipe we’ll pair the cashew cream with the starches from the reserved pasta water to create a rich, lemon cream sauce that will blow dairy out of the water any day of the week. Promise.
Change it up
- Want to add more protein? Use whole grain pasta or one that’s made from legumes like chickpeas or lentils. Or you can add roasted chickpeas!
- Use gluten-free pasta to make it GF. I used this one for the photos (it’s scrumptious) but any variety will work. Fusilli, linguine, spaghetti…you’ll probably want to make it with all of them once you taste the sauce.
- Incorporate different vegetables. Asparagus, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, broccolini or steamed peas would be delicious!
Looking for more pasta dishes? Check these out:
- Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Lemon Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta
- The Best Pumpkin Macaroni and ‘Cheese’
- Creamy Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo
- Kale Pesto Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Lemon Cream Pasta with Spinach
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked (see notes)
- zest and 2 tablespoons juice of 1 lemon
- 8 ounces whole grain pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup minced shallot
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper for serving, optional
- Transfer soaked and drained cashews to a blender (ideally a NutriBullet or Vitamix for smoothest results) along with 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend on high until smooth and creamy then set aside.
- Cook the pasta as directed in salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water during the straining process.
- While the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil over medium low heat in a large pot or skillet. Sauté shallot for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the spinach and garlic then continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so, just until spinach starts to wilt. Stir in the cashew cream and reserved pasta water then bring to a low simmer.
- To the pot, add the cooked pasta and lemon zest. Stir until pasta is evenly coated with the sauce. Add salt, fresh ground pepper and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve warm and enjoy!