vegan vodka sauce and pasta

By Shalini Kolluri

Tomatoes were introduced in Italy in the early 16th century but they were thought to be poisonous. The French, however appreciated tomatoes calling them “pomme d’amour” (meaning love apples). Colonists took tomatoes where ever they went. Technically tomatoes are fruits since they grew on vines.

Tomatoes have a rich flavor, high liquid content, a supple texture and a sweet sour taste which breaks down easily, and enhances every dish it is added to. This is one fruit you do not want to leave out of your diet. It can reverse about a dozen conditions if eaten daily.

According to Tufts and Boston University researchers, the highest average intakes of lycopene were linked to almost a 30% reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, respectively, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Tomatoes can reduce the amount of damage done to your body by smoking cigarettes or inhaling second hand smoke. The coumeric acid works to protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke. Rich tomato components fight acne and help your skin glow.

This vodka sauce is rich with cashews and also has a sharp, bright flavor from the vodka and cayenne, it’s the kind of sauce that’s not only comforting in the cold weather but makes you think of summer.


2 lbs plum tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

1-2 garlic cloves, whole peeled and crushed

1 cup shallots sliced

¼ spoon cayenne

½ cup vodka

¼ cup raw cashews

1 teaspoon oregano

¼ cup Cashew milk

12 ounces whole wheat penne (cooked)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Place the garlic, if using, on the baking sheet. Roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skins have popped and are starting to brown in spots.

Let the tomatoes cool, then add them to the juicer. Squeeze garlic pulp into the blender add ½ teaspoon salt and cashews. Puree till smooth.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, over medium heat. Add shallots, sauté till tender.

Remove from the heat. Add tomato puree, cayenne powder and vodka.

Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Add in the cashew milk and stir. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Test taste, and sprinkle in more salt.

Stir in the oregano and mix.

Black olives sliced (to garnish)

Add in the pasta.




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