Creamy Cashew Alfredo Pasta

Ever since I ate my weight in cashew cream at GLAM, I’ve been a litttttle bit obsessed. I’ve been determined to attempt making cashew cream myself, and when the opportunity presented itself, I didn’t hesitate one second to try it out.

I recently made a Pasta Alla Vodka (recipe here) that was so delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. I played with this recipe a little, and added roasted broccolini, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach to give the pasta some extra oomf. Needless to say, the pasta was f*cking excellent, and left me in a pasta daze. I felt a cashew alfredo sauce was necessary.

This dish is SO easy to make, with less than 10 ingredients and only 30 minutes to prepare, you’ll feel silly for not trying this out sooner.

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The star of this show is obviously the cashews, soaked overnight to achieve a nice, thick and creamy consistency. The longer the cashews are soaked, the better. Who knew these nuts were capable of so much than just expensive snacking?!

Next up: vegetables. This is a vegan blog, after all, so, we gotta incorporate those greens. I’ve really been digging roasted broccolini on pretty much everything, and felt it went really well with this sauce. It’s got a bit of an earthy flavor, if you will, so it adds some serious freshness. I also added green peas for their mildly sweet and almost buttery flavor.

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So, we got the essentials, but what makes this actually taste like cheese? Nutritional yeast. This is an absolute necessity for me because it has an incredibly similar taste and smell to cheese, and just makes the simplest of dishes so much better. Added bonus: hella vitamins and nutrients! You can find nutritional yeast at almost any grocery store, or if you’re a lazy bum, Amazon carries a variety of brands.

I really think you’ll love this pasta. It’s creamy, garlicky, cheesy, and just so stinkin’ easy to make. Let’s get down to it.

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Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For the broccolini:

  • 1 packet of broccolini, rinsed and cut in quarters
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper, to taste

The rest:

  • ½ cup of green peas
  • 6 oz. spaghetti noodles
  • crushed red pepper, fresh basil, or vegan parmesan, totally optional garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat saute pan to low-medium heat, add olive oil, minced garlic and shallot, and cook until fragrant. Set aside.
  3. Drain and rinse soaked cashews, and add them to a blender or food processor with about a ½ cup of water. Add in the sauteed garlic, shallot, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. Blend until you reach a creamy consistency.* Set sauce aside.
  4. Rinse and cut broccolini, and mix with garlic, salt and pepper before placing in oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, mix the vegetables around, and roast for about another 5-10 minutes.
  5. While the broccolini is roasting, prepare spaghetti to cook. Bring water to a boil, add spaghetti, and cook according to package instructions.
  6. Throw in the peas into the boiling water once the pasta is about nearly finished.
  7. Drain the noodles and sauce and add them to a large mixing bowl.
  8. Pour in the sauce with the roasted broccolini in the bowl, and mix until the spaghetti noodles are well coated.
  9. Serve and enjoy! Makes up to 3-4 servings.

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