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Pasta with Vegan Cream Sauce

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Want a delicious, elegant vegan pasta dish? Hearts of Palm and fresh thyme sing in this delightfully creamy sauce that comes together in minutes.

Hearts of palm get a quick purée in a blender with fresh thyme, garlic, lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Adding in some of the water used to cook the pasta makes the sauce glossy and thick. You can add any vegetables you like, either boiled with the pasta or quickly steamed or sautéed. It’s delicious on its own…but if you can, add the walnut topping. The salty, cheesy flavor really enhances the sauce and rounds out the dish.

yield: 4 servings prep time: 10 minutes cook time: 15 minutes total time: 25 minutes



  • 3 cups dried Farfalle or other pasta of choice

  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

Cream Sauce

  • 1 can Hearts of Palm, drained (reserve 1/3 cup of the liquid from the can), roughly chopped

  • 1/3 cup of the water used to boil the pasta

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped; plus extra thyme leaves for garnish

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • pinch cayenne

  • freshly ground black pepper

Walnut Topping

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts

  • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4-1 teaspoon sea salt (depending on strength of salt and personal preference)


  1. Combine the walnut topping ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until you have a crumb-like consistency. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, then taste the mixture and increase the salt to your liking. I use fine Himalayan sea salt, which tends to be saltier. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.

  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.

  3. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. During the last couple minutes of cooking, add the spinach to the pot. Do not drain the pasta and spinach using a colander, instead use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large bowl.

  4. While the pasta boils, place the sauce ingredients, including the 1/3 cup of liquid from the Hearts of Palm can, in the blender (don't blend just yet) and chop the tomato.

  5. Once the pasta is done, transfer 1/3 cup of the cooking water to the blender with the other sauce ingredients. Puree until smooth.

  6. Add the chopped tomato to the large bowl with the pasta and spinach. Pour about 3/4 of the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine.

  7. Divide between 4 plates, or keep it all in one big serving dish. Drizzle the remaining sauce evenly over the pasta, sprinkle with the walnut topping and fresh thyme leaves (optional). Pass the extra walnut topping at the table.


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