June 13, 2013 14

{Spicy} Tomato Basil Cream Sauce + Cappello’s {grain free} Gnocchi

I love this recipe for a lot of reasons, but most importantly I love it because it is comforting. Growing up in an Italian household food was everything. It was the centerpiece to all gatherings. It picked you up when you were down, you depended on it. Each and every bowl of pasta made you feel brand spanking new. This {Spicy} Tomato Basil Cream sauce is rich but oh so soothing – it’s on another level people. It’s a big bowl of naughty goodness. But actually in this case – turns out it’s not so naughty after all.

Get ready for this Spicy {if you’ll have it that way} Tomato Basil {no dairy necessary} Cream Sauce. It is going to knock your socks off. With a sauce this creamy and flavor packed – who needs the dairy, you know? Lately, I’ve been pretty obsessed with cashews. These little powerhouse nuts are chock full of magnesium and loaded with fiber and essential healthy fats. They’re so incredibly versatile. Fantastic for munching, yes! But, these beauties are even better when soaked and blended. Now, that’s when the real magic begins. You don’t need a lot of time or any fancy tools. Just raw cashews, water, pinch of sea salt, a couple hours to soak and a blender or food processor.

I’ve been waiting to post this recipe until either I learned how to make gluten free gnocchi at home or until I could find some really fantastic stuff to blog about. Then a shipment of Cappello’s pasta just fell into my lap – yep it’s a tough job being a food blogger but somebody’s gotta do it! Cappello’s is a Colorado based gluten + grain free pasta company. And in my opinion their freshly made pastas are some of the best gluten free pasta I’ve ever had. No honestly, I really really mean that. As a food blogger I’m often asked to taste and review products. But, honestly I turn a lot of them down. I don’t have the time or the desire to write product reviews so – I gotta really believe in both the product and the mission of a company in order to suggest it to my audience.  Good thing for Cappello’s they’ve got both going on. 



If you’re wondering what pillowy soft {grain free} gnocchi tastes like, wonder no more. It tastes like pure heaven. I haven’t eaten traditional {gluten-filled} pasta in about 4 years. When we make pasta at home we eat Ancient Harvest {organic-nonGMO} quinoa/corn based pasta and we think that’s pretty A-OK. But to have a grain free pasta like Cappello’s was a real treat – the gnocchi was out-of-this-world yummy. Trust me my {non-GF} Italian husband {like Italian as in mother currently lives in Italy, Italian} doesn’t mess around when it comes to gluten free pasta. He tells it like it is. And this passed his test with flying colors. I’ll be eating and reviewing the other delicious varieties shortly – so stay tuned for many more grain free pasta and sauce recipes coming your way.

You can find Cappello’s gnocchi, lasagna sheets and fettuccine pastas on shelves in CO, NM and WY. And of course it’s for purchase anytime on the world wide web. Because the pasta is made and shipped fresh the prices are a slightly higher than other gluten free pastas in the grocery store. But trust me . . . they’re worth every penny.

Click this link to purchase.


{Spicy} Tomato Basil Cream Sauce


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, I used Muir Glen Organics {its lining is BPA-free}
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper {optional}
  • large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • sea salt + coarse ground pepper, to taste

Prior to making the sauce – soak your cashews in 2 cups of filtered water with a pinch of sea salt for anywhere between 1 and 4 hours. Do not soak longer than 5 hours or your cashews could end up tasting a little bitter. Once they are done soaking blend with a 1/2 filtered water until they become completely smooth. Keep in mind this will yield slightly more cashew cream than needed. Set aside.

In a saucepan or deep skillet heat the olive oil on low, saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes. When I use the whole canned tomatoes – I like to pull them apart into chunks with my hands. This part can get messy!

Then add in the oregano, crushed red pepper and season with sea salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Now you are ready to add in your cashew cream and fresh basil. It is completely up to you how creamy you want it to be. I like mine pretty creamy so I used about 3/4 of the mixture. If you use that much you’ll achieve the color in the photo above. But you can add it all in or use only half. It’s up to you! I’d love to hear how this turns out for all of you. Drop me a note in the comments. XO!

{gnocchi serves 2-3 per box + sauce serves 6}

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14 Responses to "{Spicy} Tomato Basil Cream Sauce + Cappello’s {grain free} Gnocchi"

  1. Reply

    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    September 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    No way! Guess what I am posting tomorrow? A cashew alfredo sauce made with tomatoes–ha! :D I’m going wheat-free (maybe grain-free?) for a month to see if it helps with my eczema, so I will definitely have to check out Cappello’s!

  2. Reply


    November 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Just made this sauce for the first time, it is delicious! First time using cashew cream, very simple and a great dairy substitute. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply


      November 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Isn’t cashew cream just the best? I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks for stopping by!


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  4. Reply


    February 2, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Wow..that was easy! I added a bit of Red Star Yeast Flakes for a slightly cheesy flavor and used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Pasta for some protein variety. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply


      February 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      So easy + delicious, right? You’re welcome :)

  5. Reply


    May 10, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    just made the sauce-its delicious!!! just wondering if I can freeze it- and if not, how long will it last in t he refrigerator?

    • Reply


      May 12, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Hi Mara! I’m so glad you loved this sauce, it’s totally one of my faves too. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 5 days. You can definitely freeze it also! Hope this helps.


  6. Reply


    July 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    I had some cashews I needed to use up, and this looked like the recipe to use them in! I’ve never experimented with cashew cream before…….. I’m very, VERY happy with the results. Thank you for this delicious recipe!!! It’s absolutely perfect. I didn’t have gnocchi :( so I put it over gluten free rice pasta and it was still incredible! Although gnocchi are my favorite… I’m looking forward to using them the next time I make this :)

  7. Reply

    Katherine B

    August 31, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Um, YUM, this looks glorious! I MUST make this sauce next. It’s funny, I never preferred creamy sauces before going vegan, but now I’m all about the cashew-based creams.

    I do not follow a gluten-free diet, but I bought a package of sweet potato gnocchi at Earth Fare once that I’m fairly certain was labeled gluten-free, and it was GREAT with some almond butter sauce and some peas. I think the brand was Nuovo.

  8. Reply


    December 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Had leftover cashew cream. Made this with and put it in with 12oz whole wheat penne. The whole family loved it! Thanks!

    • Reply


      January 5, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      That makes me so happy, thanks for the message!! xo

  9. Reply


    January 10, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    This sauce is INCREDIBLE!! It blew my husbands mind! Thank you for sharing such an easy, yummy recipe. I served it over zucchini “noodles” & chicken

  10. Reply


    January 26, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    This is so delicious. I like to add sliced Portobello mushrooms and serve over egg noodles. Reminds me of beef stroganoff. (which I can no longer have). It’s a great and versatile recipe, Thank you!

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