Red Lentil Penne Vodka Recipe

October 18, 2018

Gluten-free pasta lovers are living in a Renaissance age—when it comes to noodles, that is. From spaghetti to fusilli, this Italian staple has been perfected with all kinds of alternate ingredients like beans, legumes (we’re looking at you, lentils!), and GF flours. So pull out your stock pot and get ready for a meal everyone around the table will love. A silky tomato sauce thickens up with soaked cashews, and the penne boasts 21g of protein per serving for a filling vegan weeknight dinner. Because of the nuts in this recipe, uncork a crisp, light-bodied red wine with lower tannins for the perfect pairing.

Red Lentil Penne Vodka

Yield: 2 servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
¼ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup vodka
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 (8-ounce) box Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional


Add drained cashews and almond milk to a food processor; blend until smooth. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add vodka and reduce slightly, then stir in tomatoes, puréed cashews, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add pasta to the pan with the sauce and toss to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, add ¼ cup of pasta water at a time, until the sauce easily coats the noodles. Toss and top with parsley and chili flakes (if using).

Recipe credit: Angela Gaines

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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