This was based on two other recipes, Lolo's Cappellini in fresh tomato cream sauce from Vegan Yum Yum, and the Penne al cardinale from Anna Thomas's The Vegetarian Epicure Book 2. I'm sure the original recipes are both delicious as is, but what I wanted was a light tomato cream sauce (rather than a bechamel) with brandy in it (thanks, Anna!). If you can believe it, I bought brandy for this recipe. Was it worth it? Oh, yes. And thanks to Lolo's blender technique, the whole thing came together in the time it took to boil the pasta.
I usually prefer my tomato sauces quite plain, but of course, if you don't, feel free to add basil, marjoram, or whatever other herbs you like. This sauce would probably also work with tofu ricotta (or almond ricotta) in the place of the Better Than Cream Cheese if you can't get or don't buy the latter, though speaking from a very reluctant vegan-cheese-purchasing point of view, this product lives up to its name and is worth a try.
Linguini al cardinale
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 tbsp Earth Balance
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brandy
Place all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until relatively smooth. Pour the sauce into a shallow saucepan and heat over medium heat to simmering. You want it hot with the flavours well incorporated, but this sauce should not have to reduce. Also (and I'm not sure why this is) this appears to be one of those sauces that, like a cashew sauce, will "crumble" a bit as it cools, so my advice would be literally to start making it after you've put the pasta water on to boil.
Mix the hot sauce with the hot, drained pasta, dust with pepper, and serve.
I had it with sautéed kale and crimini mushrooms: