Last Updated on February 14, 2021
Tomato cream sauce is one of our favorites to make. This Linguine with Mushroom Tomato Cream Sauce is made with mushrooms to complement the creaminess! It’s vegan as always and can be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta.
About Cashew Cream
When we work on recipes using cashew cream, it’s a bit of thinking involved. Why? We typically soak cashews overnight and make cashew cream in bulk, divide into 1 cup (or 1/2 cup) portion, then freeze it. This works better for us since we have a large blender which isn’t really meant for making stuff in small volume. Especially when we are looking for the right consistency for making puree or cream like making cashew cream, it’s always better to work with proper amount for the size of a particular blender.
But to provide recipes to other people means the cooking methods also have to be somewhat universal and accessible to them. We doubt that everyone makes cashew cream base sauce using frozen ones. So this recipe is one of them that you can make without preparing cashew cream ahead of time. It just needs at least extra 2 hours of soaking time for cashews.
The Mushroom Tomato Cream Sauce
This particular sauce is made with pureed fresh tomatoes. It depends on the seasons and the area you live, we recommend using fresh tomatoes only for one reason…less waste! We buy lots of tomatoes and have them sit on the kitchen counter. You will notice that even under-ripe tomatoes will get softer and juicier after a week or two. For making tomato sauce, we purposely wait long enough to use the ones that are very soft. They visually look not so beautiful but definitely sweeter and juicier which is perfect for making sauces!
Also the trick to make mushroom flavorful is to caramelize it! To do this, don’t stir them too much and don’t season with salt right away! Once you add them to the pan, leave them until they start shrinking. Then stir a little bit until you can see that they are beautifully browned and tuned into smaller bits. At that point, season with salt! When you salt mushrooms too soon, it will extract the water contents and it ends up cooking in its water. As a result, it won’t help with getting proper caramelization.
Now, to give more earthy flavor to the sauce, we use thyme which always works perfect with mushrooms. This recipe calls for dried thyme but you can certainly substitute with fresh ones. It might even taste better!
Having Some Tough “Thyme”?
Pun intended 😆 Have you ever encountered dried thyme that’s really tough and inedible stems in your mouth as your savoring the food? It’s not pleasant feeling but if you end up with one of those, don’t discard it! You can still save it by just doing a little work! Place them in your palm before adding to whatever you are cooking them with. Then use your finger tips to crush them until you won’t feel the hard bits. You may still find some tough stems in there. If that’s the case, you will have to pick them out and use the rest.
It’s a bit inconvenient but it’s worth doing it so you don’t have to waste the whole jar that you just bought!
Check out other recipes created by Plant-Based Matters!
Bucatini with Creamy Toasted Red Bell Pepper Harissa Sauce
Linguine with Mushroom Tomato Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked in water for 2 hours)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 8 cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 medium tomatoes puréed (about 1 1/2 cup after being puréed)
- 2 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1/2 pound linguine
- Vegan parmesan style cheese (optional)
- In a large pot, start boiling water for cooking linguine.
- Meanwhile, start making tomato cream sauce by preparing cashew cream first. In a high-speed blender, combine soaked cashews, water,nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend for 1-2 minutes until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
- Heat up a frying pan at medium high heat. Pour extra virgin olive oil and add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minute until aromatic and golden brown. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until caramelized. Adjust the heat if it’s too hot. Season with salt and add dried thyme. Cook for another minute or so.
- Add tomato purée. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 5 minutes to reduce down. Add sugar to control the acidity (optional.)
- Meanwhile, start cooking linguine in salted water for 7 minutes (or follow the instruction on the package.)
- 2 minutes before the linguine is done, add the cream mixture to the sauce. When it starts to thicken add a small amount pasta cooking water.
- Add linguine to the sauce. Turn off the heat and give a quick toss.
- Serve with vegan parmesan style cheese (optional.)