Friday, August 3, 2012

Creamy Paleo Tomato Sauce

I hope no one is weary of my zucchini posts this week. First pancakes, then burgers. Now, unsurprisingly, I'm using it for noodles. My kids have yet again requested some kind of pasta, and making my own from zucchini is a healthy, easy way to all eat together.

Tonight's pasta sauce gets its creaminess from raw cashews. I've been trying to buy and consume fewer nuts lately, as I have a tendency to overindulge if they're on hand. For tonight I bought just what I needed so only snuck a couple of handfuls...

You could make this a straight-up tomato sauce, or mix in a little pesto (as I chose to do). It's easy to make a paleo-friendly pesto by simply omitting the parmesan cheese. If that's too much work, I do suggest garnishing with some fresh basil leaves, as you just can't beat the combination of fresh tomato and basil when it comes to a "pasta" dish.

I had a little spicy Italian chicken sausage from Whole Foods on hand, so I also crumbled and browned it, and stirred it into the sauce. If you wanted to add some protein into the mix it was a tasty addition, as paleo meatballs or some chicken would also be.

Creamy Paleo Tomato Sauce

1 cup raw cashews
2 large tomatoes, cored
2 tbs. tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 zucchinis, julienned
4 tbs. olive oil
5-8 cloves of minced garlic
salt, pepper & red pepper flakes, to taste
paleo pesto or fresh basil leaves

Puree cashews, tomatoes, tomato paste and water in a high-powered blender. Meanwhile, place zucchini in a colander over the sink; sprinkle with water and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

While zucchini sits, heat olive oil in large sautee pan. Add minced garlic, and cook until just beginning to turn golden (stirring often). Add tomato sauce and stir to combine. Simmer over low heat, seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Heat a little olive oil in another skillet and cook zucchini noodles for a couple of minutes, until done to your liking. Serve them topped with creamy tomato sauce and a dollop of pesto.