This super easy vegan pasta dish is enough to feed a crowd and please a crowd. It’s packed with Mexican-inspired flavors and it’s creamy texture is extra satisfying, who wouldn’t love it?
A similar recipe to this one was actually on the menu at the very first cooking class I hosted. It was pretty much the same exact thing, except we used real heavy cream instead of the plant-based cashew cream. We also made it into a casserole by layering sauce and pasta before topping with cheese and baking.
My point here is to highlight how customizable any recipe is. This one works just as well with real cream, and if you’re feeling a casserole-style pasta, go for it! In that case, here’s a pro-tip. Reserve 2 cups of sauce before tossing with the pasta. That way you can layer 1 cup on the bottom of the dish, top with pasta and finally a second layer of just sauce. Sprinkle on shredded cheese (either real or a vegan variety) and some chopped cilantro, then bake at 375 degrees until the cheese is bubbly.
No matter what you do with this pasta or how you prepare it, you will undoubtedly fall in love. So get ready for a new recipe in your monthly lineup because this is it!
Creamy Tex-Mex Penne with Black Beans & Corn
1 lb whole wheat pasta (penne, rotini, fusilli or similar)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
28-oz canned crushed tomatoes
14-oz canned diced tomatoes
4-oz can mild or spicy green chilies, optional
2-3 cup cooked black beans (2 14-oz cans, drained)
2-3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (2 14-oz cans corn, drained)
1 cup cashew cream or sunflower seed cream (see notes)
In a large pot, bring salted water to boil for pasta. When water is boiling, cook pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add diced onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Saute for about 6 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chili powder, ground cumin and dried oregano and cook for about a minute, stirring consistently.
Add tomatoes, green chilies and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add black beans and corn. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in cream. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add cooked pasta. Toss to combine.
*to make cashew cream, blend 1 cup raw cashews with 3/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. If using a high speed blender, no soaking is necessary for the cashews. Otherwise, soak in water for 1-3 hours
*to make sunflower seed cream, cover sunflower seeds with nearly boiling water and allow to sit for an hour. Once soaked, drain and blend with 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt until super smooth
*you wont need the full batch of vegan “cream” for this… keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to two weeks and use in other recipes like my vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
*you can also use real cream or coconut cream for this recipe, if desired