Easy spaghetti marinara with cashew mozzarella

When me and my sisters were kids, we sure loved our spaghetti. Ketchup, of course, was our number one choice of sauce. We couldn't get enough of it. What kid doesn't love pasta with some tomato-ish stuff? I have also written about my big love for my grandma's macaroni, which were made with pan-fried onions and ketchup. I know, Italians would roll their eyes at the ketchup part, but we loved it.

But these days, when I'm making spaghetti, I serve it with this super easy homemade marinara sauce. It's sweet and sour and has a tiny bit of heat from the chili flakes. And of course, it contains lots of fresh garlic, dried herbs and pan-fried golden brown onions. To make it extra luscious, I added some cashew mozzarella. I adapted the recipe from the Vedged Out blog. I use this genius nut cheese almost everywhere. Pizzas, lasagnas, bruschettas, nachos and what not! The tapioca starch is the key here to make this cheese stretchy. I used tapioca granules, since the flour didn't work for me. I don't know why, but the granules made the cheese stretchy, while the flour just made it thick. Maybe you have different results!

Anyway, if you are searching for a quick and delicious family-pleasing pasta dinner, search no further. This recipe is definitely a crowd-pleaser and it's ready in 20 minutes!

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4 people 

Easy marinara sauce:

  • 2 - 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 Tbsp (unrefined) sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • t tsp chili flakes 
  • 2 ½ cup / 600 ml tomato sauce (no salt added)

Cashew mozzarella:

  • ¼ cup / 50 g cashews
  • 1 cup / 240 ml hot water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp tapioca starch (granules)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar or some lemon juice
  • ½ - ¾ tsp salt

+ 10 ½ oz / 300 g spaghetti (uncooked)
+ fresh basil for serving (optional)


First, boil the spaghetti in plenty of water until al dente. In the meantime, boil the cashews in plenty of water for 15 minutes. Now heat up a pan and pour some oil in it. Add thinly chopped onions. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Add chopped garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds. Add dried thyme, basil, sugar, salt and chili flakes. Stir and cook for a minute or two. Add tomato sauce, stir and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove the heat.

Drain the spaghetti and mix in a tablespoon of oil (optional). Set aside. Drain the cashews and add them to a blender along with hot water, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, vinegar or lemon juice and salt. Blend for a minute or two, until you have a smooth milky liquid. Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, until the cheese thickens. For this pasta, it's best to not let the cheese get too thick. You should be able to pour it onto the pasta. Now serve the spaghetti with marinara and some cashew mozzarella.