Lockdown, Recipe

Lockdown – cashew, chili and red pepper pasta sauce recipe

Easy and quick! Takes about 2 mins + 10 mins soaking for the cashew cream, then up to 20 mins, depending on what you do with sauce…

Serves 1 (easy to change quantities)

This is a very tweakable recipe. The basic cashew cream can be made sweet by adding a dash of vanilla extract; or you flavour it however you like to use with pasta (it’s very bland on its own!). You will need a blender (a stick blender will do).



  • 80g (1/3 cup) cashews
  • hot water to cover
  • half a red pepper, deseeded
  • About 2 cm of red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • a little oil


To make the basic cashew cream, tip the cashews into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 mins, then tip the lot into a blender and whizz until smooth. (If you’re making it sweet, add vanilla extract to taste and whizz again; if savoury, see below…)

Put the red pepper on a plate and microwave for about 3 mins (if you don’t have a microwave, spray lightly with oil and roast for 20 mins). Leave to cool slightly and remove the skin.

To make the cashew cream, tip the cashews and water into a blender and blend until smooth. (Keep it in the blender for now as we’ll add more ingredients in a second!)

Heat the oil in a small pan, add the chili and garlic and sauté until soft. Add to the blender with the red pepper, and blitz again. (If you’re serving with pasta, start cooking the pasta at the same time as you heat the oil.)

Pour the sauce back into the pan and heat through – you might need to add a little water, depending on how thick you like your sauce. Serve with the pasta.


  • Alfredo: omit the chilli and red pepper, swap the oil for sunflower margarine and sauté 125g of sliced mushrooms with the garlic; then add the cashew cream and heat through)
  • Omit the red pepper and chilli, add a teaspoon of prepared wholegrain mustard to the garlic, add the cashew cream and then stir in some roasted veg and heat through