My ‘Cooking with Seaweed’ series begin with a wholesome pasta dish.
You can source a different kind of pasta especially if you are gluten intolerant. Yet if you have a look at the labels, you will quickly come to the same conclusion like me – wholewheat pasta contains much more goodness nutritionally. People do not realise the eat vegan very often – most of pasta (big exception is egg noodles) is actually vegan.
Don’t be confused by my ‘cheesy’ sauce suggestion – I am not using any dairy in this recipe. The suggested sauce is creamy and rich. The main ingredient is of course cashew nuts. For the best results I recommend to soak these in cold water overnight. I’d say 3-4 hours are OK too. I must confess, when I don’t have time (or I completely forgot to do it), I simply simmer my cashews in a cup of plant based milk, this process softens them a bit quicker. I’d say 15 minutes of a gentle simmer and you have it ready to be blended.
The secret to make this cashew cream really cheesy is to add a generous tablespoon or more of nutritional yeast. Do not worry though, this is not your normal active yeast – this is actually de-activated yeast cells. This condiment provides that savoury cheesiness to your sauce, but also is a good source of vitamins B. Two tablespoons added to this sauce will also give just 5 g of carbs whilst adding 9 g of protein. Not a bad deal here.
Finally, why seaweed? I was thinking what to make using a very flavoursome whole leaf kelp seaweed and I suddenly realised that my pasta will benefit from more savoury, umami-like flavours together with some generous natural saltiness. It elevated your cashew cream to the next level! It adds a lot to a regular vegan nutrition too – just scroll down to the nutrition data.
I was truly stocked with my creation. I hope you’d enjoy it too!
Wholewheat pasta with a 'cheesy' sauce and seaweed
Yield 2 portions
I love this recipe (not just because I've created it!), but for its simplicity - there are only a few ingredients: wholewheat pasta, cashews and plant-based milk, seaweed and nutritional yeast.To make a sauce you will definitely need a high performance blender or liquidiser to make a very smooth and creamy paste out of your cashews. I love my small but versatile Phillips hand blender.
Please also experiment with different kinds of seaweed - they will each provide with slightly different protein and fibre contents (still quite high), but you can lower the saltiness or go for milder and more tender types of seaweed.
To make 2 portions of this recipe:
- 100 g wholewheat pasta (best quality and organic)
- 100 g cashews
- 25 g dried kelp seaweed (it will expand considerably)
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Prepare your cashews by soaking them overnight or simply follow my quick simmering option below.
Blanche your seaweed in a boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain, cut into very fine strips and set aside.
Boil water (or cashew milk) with cashews for a few minutes, so you soften your cashews a bit.
Make a 'cheesy sauce' by making a fine paste out of your cashews adding water when required and a generous tablespoon (I suggest even two) of nutritional yeast.
Added strips of seaweed to the sauce. Let it infuse with your sea wonder's savoury flavours.
The simplicity of this recipe is that you only need to cook your wholewheat pasta al-dente and then combine it with your seaweed cashew sauce and serve!
I advise you to mix it all up in a pan, when it's all warm and bubbling and then serve already combined together.
Serving Size 1 portion
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 23 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 20 g
Sodium 500 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47 g
Dietary Fiber 17 g
Sugars 4.2 g
Protein 24 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.