Faux-Fredo - Creamy Cashew, Roasted Garlic, and Grilled Salmon Pasta
Updated: May 26, 2020
Feeds 3 - 4
Oh the health. By now you're aware i'm a pasta fanatic, but I can't always eat full-fat, full-happiness pasta dishes. OR SO I THOUGHT. I had heard about people blending cashews to create a creamy sauce so, not one to knock it til' I try it, I gave it a shot. At first it was a little bland but the more I added (yes that includes cheese and garlic duh) the tastier it got.
I have not looked back (on cream (for most things)) since discovering the magic of cashews. It's been an eye-opener and allowed me many creamy pastas when I otherwise wouldn't've had them.
Cook up a massive batch of this and feel like the secret #healthqueen of the week.
Add more or less of the blended ingredients to the blender/food processor depending on the taste of it i.e. if you want it cheesier, add more cheese.
On the note of cheese - if you like it cheesy, add some grated cheddar on top of the hot pasta.
You can use white or brown pasta and any shape or type works beautifully.
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bulbs of garlic
4 cups of whole-wheat or white short pasta (penne, fusilli etc.)
1 white onion, diced
1/2 cup of cashews soaked in 1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of fresh parmesan grated
2-3 fillets of salmon
2 tablespoons of paprika
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
1½ cups of frozen peas, steamed or boiled
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh basil for garnish
Preheat your oven to 205℃ (400℉)
Take your garlic bulbs and peel most of the papery outside from it. Make sure to leave the head intact and the cloves all attached. Slice about 1cm off the top so you can see the tops of the cloves. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each bulb and wrap in tin foil. Place in the oven for 40 minutes.
Once your garlic is in the oven, start cooking your pasta. Make sure to generously salt that water because, you guessed it, we're going to be needing that pasta water.
The next element you want to prepare is your salmon. In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the cayenne pepper, and paprika. Spread the mixture evenly across the tops of the salmon fillets. In a frying pan heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a medium-high heat. Once glistening place your salmon skin-side down and cook for 3 minutes (until crisp) then flip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Flake the salmon into a bowl and set aside. (You can choose to keep the skin or not, it's really up to you).
In a blender or food processor blend together your cashews and the water it has been soaking in. Add in a large pinch of salt and pepper, and the parmesan. Leave this aside, ready to blend in the garlic when it comes out of the oven. When the garlic comes out of the oven squish out all the soft garlic flesh and put it in the blender and blend it up.
In a pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sauté your onions for 5-6 minutes until softened. On a low heat add the cashew sauce to the pan and slowly add in 1 - 1.5 cups of the pasta water until your sauce is glossy but still thick.
Add in the peas, the pasta, and the flaked salmon. Take off the heat.
Serve with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!