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Herbivore's Kitchen

Pappardelle Pasta with Kale & White Bean Ragu and Cashew Cream Sauce

Looking for the ultimate in vegan comfort food? This pappardelle pasta with an easy kale and white bean ragù recipe will make even the coldest nights warm and cozy. Bring this Italian recipe to your table in a vegan friendly way by adding a healthy cashew cream sauce made with nutritional yeast and fresh lemon juice. 
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Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


For the Kale and White Bean Ragu

  • 1 eggplant peeled and cut into 1/2 thick discs
  • 1 tsp table salt for salting the eggplant
  • 1 tbsp high-heat oil I like a good, high quality extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil (for roasting the eggplant); see Recipe Notes for whole food, plant-based diet version
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil see Recipe Notes for whole food, plant-based diet version
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano I like to use North America Herb & Spice’s OregaWild blend
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 10 oz jar sundried tomatoes packed in oil drained and roughly chopped; see Recipe Notes for whole food, plant-based diet version
  • 1/2 cup red wine see Recipe Notes for whole food, plant-based diet version
  • 2 28 oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes drained (but reserving the tomato juices) and roughly chopped
  • 1 14 oz can Cannellini beans also called white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon zest and fresh juice
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale washed, destemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • fresh basil washed and torn
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 pkg. pappardelle or other thick noodle pasta

Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup cashews or cashew pieces
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp table salt


  • Combine 1 cup of cashews in 2 cups very hot water. Set aside to soak for 1 hour. 
  • Peel and slice the eggplant. Lay the pieces out on a clean dish towel and lightly salt them with ½ tsp of salt. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Flip and lightly salt the other side with the other ½ tsp of salt. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then pay dry and spread out on a baking sheet with 1 tbsp oil. Roast at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then flip the eggplant and roast for 10 minutes more. 
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet. When shimmering, add the onions and reduce the heat to low-medium. Allow the onions to cook slowly until browned. About 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Add the basil, oregano and thyme, tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to coat and increase the heat to medium. Sauté until the tomato paste becomes a dark brown. 
  • Add the red wine and deglaze the pan. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato juices, lemon zest and Cannellini beans. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened. About 10-15 minutes. 
  • While the ragù is simmering, prepare the cashew by combining the drained, soaked cashews in your blender with ¾ cup of water, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt. 
  • Remove the eggplant from the oven and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to the ragù. Massage the chopped kale until it becomes soft and dark green. Add the kale and 1 tbsp of the fresh lemon juice. 
  • Cook the pappardelle pasta in accordance with package directions. 
  • Serve the ragù over the pappardelle pasta and add 2-3 spoonfuls of cashew cream. Season with fresh basil and crushed red pepper. 


  • To adapt this recipe to a whole food, plant-based diet, omit the eggplant. This will eliminate the oil and salt needed to roast the eggplant. You can, if desired, add plain, diced eggplant to the ragu instead. Then, sauté the onions in water or vegetable broth until softened. Instead of purchasing sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, opt for dry sun-dried tomatoes. Red wine can likewise be omitted if desired. 
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