1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least two hours
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil (you can sub this with veggie broth for an oil free dish)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt + plus a pinch
Pinch black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils (or use 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
1 package brown rice pasta
Prepare pasta per package directions. While pasta is cooking, drain the cashews and combine with broth in blender until smooth (this could take up to 5 minutes depending on the speed of your blender). Set aside.
In a large saucepan add oil or veggie broth and sauté onions with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.
Add the thyme, remaining salt, black pepper and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the lentils and toss to coat. Use a small masher or fork to smash some of the lentils. You don’t want to smash them all, just some for texture.
Add the tomatoes and basil and cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in the cashew mixture and let thicken for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta portions to coat and put into individual bowls to serve. Dig in!