October 16, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Innocent Delight
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

We all love the classic spaghetti with tomato sauce, but why limit ourselves?There is nothing more satisfying than this perfect fall pasta dish bursting with both color and flavor and it needs an equally vibrant and interesting wine. —Alexandra Richards

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup Cashews soaked in water for 10 hours or overnight. Do not soak to long as they will begin to sprout
  • 1 Canned Coconut Milk (reserve only the cream)
  • 1/2 cup The Cultured Kitchen Better Buttah
  • 1 Yellow Onion Diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Vodka
  • Himalayan Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 (28) ounces Canned Peeled Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta
  • 4 tablespoons Fresh Oregano
  • 1/2 cup Macadamia Nuts
  1. Soak Cashews in a bowl for 8-10 hours or overnight. (SPECIAL NOTE: Soaking them to long will cause the nuts to sprout and the flavor will change.)
  2. Place one can of coconut milk into the fridge at least 15 min. prior to use. As this will cause the water and cream to separate, reserving only the cream. Use the coconut water as you wish or perhaps in a smoothie!
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  4. Heat vegan butter in a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven with a lid. Add diced onion to melted vegan butter and sautee for 3 min. Then add minced garlic and finish sautéing for another 2 min or until onions are translucent.
  5. Add the red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and cook for another min. *Special Note: if you are heat sensitive try reducing the red pepper flakes to 1/2 of a teaspoon or to your personal preference.
  6. Add the vodka and let it reduce by half.
  7. Meanwhile, put the canned tomatoes in a food processor (or squeeze with your hands) and slightly puree the tomatoes (aka leave slightly chunky, but not necessary.) Then add the tomatoes to the dutch oven with 2 pinches of salt and one pinch of pepper. Cover the dutch oven with the lid and place in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours undisturbed.
  8. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cooke the pasta el dente. Drain and set aside the pasta. *Special Note: Dont forget to reserve some of the pasta water incase your pasta sticks together. Just add some pasta water back into the pasta in small increments at a time and toss pasta carefully.
  9. Place the tomato mixture in a Vita-mix, along with soaked cashews, and the cream of the coconut milk and puree on high. This might have to be done in batches, but make sure to put the cashews in the tomato mixture as the heat continues to help them to turn out smooth in consistency. Return to the pan.
  10. Add fresh oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 10 min.
  11. Add pasta to pasta dish and cover with the pasta sauce and toss allowing the heat to continue cooking the pasta.
  12. Place Macadamia nuts in a food processor and process till a fine dust. Dust your plate of pasta with macadamia nuts as if it were your parmigiana.
  13. Adapted from Ina Gartens Recipe Nick and Toni's Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola at Food Network.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alexandra Richards
    Alexandra Richards
  • Michele Ippoliti McNamara
    Michele Ippoliti McNamara
  • ddemianczuk
  • andrew Conover
    andrew Conover

5 Reviews

ddemianczuk March 26, 2018
I made this sauce last night.. best vegan vodka penne around!! I didn't have a dutch oven but I went out to buy one before I made this recipe and I am so glad I did! Roasting the tomatoe sauce mixture in the oven really does make a difference. I am just wondering if I can freeze the leftovers?
andrew C. April 16, 2018
I think that it would be completely fine if you froze the leftovers. I have done this many times and it tastes the same as long as you eat it with a few months.
Alexandra R. October 6, 2018
It should be fine to freeze it. My only concern would be separation of cashews. However, you don’t know till you try. Keep me posted!
Michele I. March 18, 2019
Does it taste like coconut milk?
Alexandra R. March 18, 2019
No it doesn’t taste like coconut milk. However, it’s really important when you use full fat canned coconut milk is to freeze it for 15 min, so that the white part separates from the juice part. Then only use the white part of the canned coconut.