Spaghetti with Creamy Tomato Sauce and Baby Spinach

By SmartyPlants | December 16, 2020
Serves 2-3
Mama mia, that's good! A simple and delicious Italian dish that Grandma Caruso would have been proud of. Add a nice side salad and some warm crusty bread to round it out.


Cashew Parmesan 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup water
1  yellow onion, large, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup fresh basil, roughly torn and packed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, more to taste
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
10 turns freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional for heat
1 8 oz. box whole grain pasta, we like corn and quinoa spaghetti


  1. First, make the Cashew Parmesan according to the recipe and instructions below. Next, drain and rinse the cashews and place them in a high-speed blender with the water and blend until smooth.

  2. Fill a large pot with water, and get it boiling. Add the spaghetti, and cook according to the package directions—about 8-10 minutes for corn & quinoa spaghetti.

  3. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until it softens, adding splashes of water if it's sticking. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, and then add the tomato paste, and mix well. Cook, while stirring, for another minute, and add water as needed to prevent sticking. Add in the tomatoes, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the baby spinach, and cook for another 2 minutes until it wilts, while stirring.

  4. Add the cashew mixture from your blender, the nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for about another 8 minutes until it's nice and hot.

  5. Drain the spaghetti, putting aside 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the sauce and mix to combine. Add 1/4 cup of your Cashew Parmesan and mix again. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a splash or two of the reserved pasta water. Add the crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste.

  6. Sprinkle on a generous helping of Cashew Parmesan, and serve with extra on the side.

Recipe Notes

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook.

For the Cashew Parmesan:


3/4 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast


  1. Add the cashews to your food processor and pulse until you have a Parmesan-like consistency. Do not over pulse or you’ll be left with more of a nut butter.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times to combine well.

Recipe Notes

Store in your fridge, and use all week!

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