Creamy Italian White Bean
- 0.5 cup cashews
- 1.25 cup water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium shallot
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4.5 cloves garlic
- 0.5 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 0.75 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 cup white wine
- 2 15-oz cans white beans
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp basil
- 1 crispy baked tofu with Italian herbs (optional)
- some vegan Parmesan (optional)
- 1 heatproof bowl
- 1 large rimmed skillet
- 1 high-speed blender
Add the cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Let them soak for 15 minutes while you get started on the rest of your ingredients.
Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once warmed, add the olive oil and minced shallot. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the shallot is translucent.
Add the whole cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes (optional), and sea salt. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the white wine (or water) and increase to medium-high heat. Cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook for 5 to 8 minutes. At this point, the skins on the tomatoes should have blistered. Remove the lid and turn the heat back down to medium. Use the back of your spoon or spatula to smash the tomatoes.
Add the drained and rinsed white beans and stir, letting them sauté (uncovered) with the tomatoes until most of the liquid has evaporated - about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender with the water. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Once the liquid has reduced from your tomatoes and beans, add the cashew cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s a thick, saucy consistency.
Turn off the heat and stir in the baby spinach and basil. Optionally, add crispy baked tofu with Italian herbs (optional). Let it wilt before serving over pasta or with a side of crusty bread (both optional)! Garnish with an optional sprinkling of vegan Parmesan (optional) and black pepper! Enjoy hot.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.