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Date Night Penne with Tempeh Chorizo and Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Penne, tempeh chorizo, and a creamy cashew red pepper cream sauce combine to create the perfect date night meal. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Cashew Red Pepper Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for at least 4 hours or hot water for 1 hour, drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pasta

  • 1 batch Tempeh Chorizo, made into 18 small patties (see note for recipe)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bunch kale, chopped
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 cups dry penne, rotini, fusili, or rigatoni pasta

Instructions

  • If you have not yet made the tempeh chorizo, do so before beginning anything else. 
  • Make the cashew cream sauce: Blend together the soaked and drained cashews, tomato paste, roasted red pepper, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast in a blender until very smooth and creamy. Transfer to a jar until ready to use. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium. Add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Saute for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the celery and cook 3 minutes more. Then add the kale, followed by the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until the kale is just bright green. Remove from heat. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain, and return to the pot. Add the sauteed greens and tempeh chorizo to the pot, followed by the cashew cream sauce. Toss to coat. Divide between bowls and enjoy with a glass of fine wine and a green salad. 

Notes

My Tempeh Chorizo recipe can be found here.
Red pepper cream sauce inspired by The Full Helping
Date night pasta idea inspired by Pinch of Yum