Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cashew Alfredo

I know it sounds odd but this Alfredo sauce is made with pureed cashews instead of any butter or cream, so it still does have fat, but it is much less and it is the GOOD kind of fat instead of the artery-clogging kind. And you can make it completely vegan as i did. I first heard about doing this from my sister Mirien who also posts on this blog but she hasn't posted it yet so i figured I would. It's a really easy recipe also-- it takes just as long as the pasta takes to cook.

1/2 cup raw cashews (I get them here in cashew pieces for $3.65 a pound)
1 1/2 cups boiling water (I add extra water to the pasta and take it out once the pasta has cooked about 3 minutes)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (i left this out because i didn't have it)
1-2 garlic cloves (or more, depends on your taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper (it definitely needs some salt, i didn't put enough in and added it at the table)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Blend the nuts alone and just get them to smaller pieces, then add the pasta water and blend it for about 2 minutes, or until it looks like there aren't any pieces. Then add everything else and blend it again for a minute or two. If its not as thick as you'd like then put it in a little saucepan and heat it again and it will thicken.

That's all there is to it. I've seen variations that call for a 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese or mozzarella or 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast. I wanted to keep it vegan, and didn't have any nutritional yeast so i just stuck with what's above and my wife and I both really like it. It could be easily doubled but i wouldn't recommend doing more than that unless you have a huge blender or are doing multiple batches. The recipe listed makes enough for about 4 people. I have even mixed it with a canned spaghetti sauce and it makes a very quick and tasty pink sauce.

The picture isn't the best, but it tasted great. I made it with spaghetti noodles and sprinkled parsley on top. I have also mixed steamed broccoli into the sauce at the end and served it over pasta. Every way I've tried it, it's been great.


merathon said...

I was excited to try this, so I made a double-batch of this sauce tonight. It was as easy as Mitchell said, but when I taste-tasted it, I thought it was good, but felt like something was missing. I'd seen a few cooking shows where they'd mentioned that nutmeg is a good pairing in creamy/cheesy sauces, so I added about a teaspoon of nutmeg and then a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. PERFECT! All my girls (even my 1 year old) loved it! We had it over whole wheat spaghetti and steamed broccoli! This is definitely a keeper-- I just wish I could buy cashews as cheap as Mitchell did!

The Dahle Family said...

Sweet, you can put nutritional yeast in this? I bought a rather large bag a while back for a vegan recipe I tried, but Aaron wasn't a huge fan of it and made a mockery of the nutritional yeast concept, so I haven't done much with it. I'm happy to find new things to sneak it into. Now I need to look for cashew sales...

Mirien said...

I love this recipe!! I still can't believe how good and easy it is. My family loves it, and we do add some grated Parmesan to the sauce.

Keepin' up with the Jones' said...

i was a little skeptical on this one - alfredo from cashews? but, I tried it and we are all fans. Even Avery was shoving it into her mouth. Brent thought it was better than any jarred sauce I have bought. I didnt' add the nutmeg because I wanted to try it without it. I might try that next time. I also added salt and pepper, but still had to add a little at the table. I also added some parmesan cheese. Very tasty - and I'll make this again.

The Dahle Family said...

OK, I made it tonight and it was SO good! I did throw in a generous tablespoon of nutritional yeast, because I had that but no parmesan. And I think it made the flavor really full and rich, and not weird at all. Aaron is a bit skeptical of imitation foods (especially of nutritional yeast trying to taste cheesey), but he delared this Alfredo "normal tasting" rather than health-nut tasting. (Last night's pureed mystery squash lentil curry fell into the health-nut-tasting category for him). And Aaron had seconds and licked the sauce from his plate. Woohoo-we LOVE it!

Kathryn and Tyler said...

This is soo great! My husband loved it and that is usually what I am going for. Tasty and nutritious. The nutmeg and nutritional yeast give it that extra something!