One of the first fancy meals I ever cooked for myself was in college, and it was a penne pasta with a coconut red pepper sauce. I was having a bad day, so I unfortunately barely ate any of it, even though it was so delicious. I remember being so proud of making that I made the meal myself, and later on lamenting what a waste it was that I couldn't enjoy it.
I started thinking about that pasta this week and tried my hand at finding the recipe. It was no where to be found. So, as things usually go when I want to make something and don't have a recipe, I played around in the kitchen, and it was a HUGE SUCCESS. This sauce is so beyond easy and so flavorful, I hope all beginner cooks and serious chefs alike try it out! Though it's luscious and creamy, it is completely vegan! If you want to add a protein to this dish, I would highly recommend adding some spiced chickpeas, or if you prefer, some thinly sliced chicken.
NOTE: For sauce, you will have extra.
- 1 large sweet potato, or 2 small ones
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers (I got mine from Trader Joes, but you can also just roast 1 large red pepper yourself)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup raw soaked cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup kale
- Olive oil
1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees. Break up kale leaves and spread them on a baking sheet covered in foil. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until coated. Bake for about 20 minutes or until very crispy (but be careful not to burn!).
2. While kale is baking, peel sweet potato and cut in half, slicing off both ends. Spiralize using the small-triangle blade.
3. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add noodles and toss until coated in oil. Cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until noodles are soft, stirring halfway between.
4. While noodles are cooking, make sauce. In a blender (or food processor), add roasted red pepper, garlic, soaked cashews, coconut milk, and a dash of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add to a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently. Let sauce come to a boil, stirring to thicken. Remove from heat.
5. Once noodles are done, pour sauce over noodles. Crumble crispy kale on top, and top with black pepper to taste.