PASTA WITH CASHEW ALFREDO SAUCE
- ½ cup raw cashews (you can use whole or halves and pieces)
- 1 medium to large yellow, brown, or white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 ¼ cups water, divided
- Approx. ¼ cup lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
- 3 Tbsp. miso paste (white or yellow is fine)
- 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
- ⅓ cup or more of nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package of pasta (something flat or tube-ish works best… we like fettuccine, farfalle bow-ties, or penne)
- Get a large pot. It’s a little bit of overkill for the onions, but then you can use it for boiling the pasta and then again for the heating the sauce and mixing it with the pasta… I’m all about trying to use as few pots as possible! Fry onions on medium heat with a dash of salt for about 5 minutes till soft and starting to caramelize a little bit. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep from burning. Add garlic and continue frying for another minute or so. Add about ¼ cup of water to de-glaze the pan. Remove from heat.
- While the onions and garlic are frying, add the cashews to the blender and blend until it’s a powder. Don’t overdo it because you don’t want cashew butter… just a nice powder. Note: you can soak the cashews for a few hours, but I never do.
- Add remaining 2 cups of water, the onion mixture, and all the other ingredients through crushed red pepper (if you’re using it) and blend on highest speed for five minutes. It’ll be relatively thin, but it thickens after it’s heated up and after it sits around. As soon as you start the blending, get the pot filled with water and about a teaspoon of salt, and get it boiling.
- Boil pasta according to directions. Ideally you want the sauce fully blended by the time the pasta is ready. Usually my sauce is done long before the pasta.
- Note: I use the entire recipe of sauce for a package of pasta, but you can start with ¾ of it and add more to liquify if needed. Pour the desired amount of sauce into the pot and heat on medium, stirring constantly. When it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s ready for you to add the pasta to it.
- Add pasta and continue heating till sauce is thickened to your preference. Serve immediately with crushed red pepper, nutritional yeast, or your favorite vegan Parmesan.
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Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning TV journalist and New York Times best-selling author. She is the founder of UnchainedTV and the host of several shows on the network.