Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce, Kale & Basil

Dairy free take on penne alla vodka.
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Leah Vanderveldt is a wellness writer and recipe developer based in Brooklyn. She’s the author of the cookbooks The New Nourishing and The New Porridge and loves learning and writing about food, travel, body image, meditation, tarot, and much more. She’s the former Food Editor of and is certified in Culinary Nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute. You can find her cooking up vegetable-centric meals and exploring wellness in ways that are affordable, fun, and a little woo-woo over on her blog, The Nourish Exchange and Instagram @leah.vander.

This easy tomato penne is a weekday staple. Our cashew nutmilk adds creaminess without the dairy and Banza pasta is packed with protein (and delicious flavor!). Plus, it's freezer friendly. 


  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • One medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Generous pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup Organic Cashew Homestyle Nutmilk
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • 1 box Banza Penne
  • Fresh Basil, to serve


In a large pan or skillet with high sides, heat vegan butter or olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until translucent and starting to soften. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 more minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and another pinch of salt and bring the heat down to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the cashew milk, then remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

At this stage you can leave it a little chunky as is, or blend either in a stand-alone high-speed blender or with an immersion blender — this makes for a creamier sauce. Reserve half the sauce for another time in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 3 months.  

Cook pasta in heavily salted water according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, reheat sauce over medium-low and add shredded kale until it wilts, about 3-4 minutes.

Once pasta is cooked through, toss with the sauce and top with fresh basil leaves and extra chili flakes to serve. Enjoy immediately.