Fettuccine Alfredo used to be one of my favorite dishes when I was rail thin, but now that I’m older and have put on a few pounds, it terrifies me. Its heaviness makes me feel gross, sluggish, and guilty. I recently decided to give vegan Alfredo a chance, and I must admit it’s really delicious and comes close to its dairy counterpart. It’s still fatty, but it’s the healthy fat.
You can try Googling ‘vegan Alfredo,’ but you’ll soon become overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of recipes available on the web. It’s like people are posting and re-posting vegan Alfredo recipes on a daily basis. They all vary by the slightest bit, too. They use either a nut base or a vegan cream cheese/sour cream base. Sometimes a liquid such as non-dairy milk or pasta water is used to thin the sauce, but almost always, the sauce will contain nutritional yeast flakes (nooch, if you’re in the veg club).
So, why add yet another recipe to the already overflowing pool of recipes? I don’t know. I like to put my stamp on a recipe, I’m lazy and don’t want to wash so many dishes, and I never seem to have all of the groceries I need. I came up with a delicious, quick, and easy version. You can use fresh garlic, but why dirty an entire cutting board and knife for one garlic clove?! Sometimes it’s hard to find nooch. In El Paso, you can find it at vitamin/health stores, Sprouts (formerly Sun Harvest), and Cielo Vista Natural Market. Raw cashews are available at almost all supermarkets.
The best part of this sauce is that I wasn’t worried about it breaking (curdling or separating). The other best part is that you don’t feel all gross and guilty after eating it (Thanks to Zoe for reminding me to mention this!).
I can’t wait to experiment more with this sauce. Like regular alfredo, the add-ins are endless. I’d like to try pesto, lemon, chipotle, green chile, smoked paprika, or use it in a vodka sauce.
Vegan AlfredoYou can add nooch for nutritional value, but I found that I liked the sauce better without it. To me, the noochy flavor was a dead giveaway that the sauce was vegan. Make sure to set aside soaking time for the cashews. Makes about 1 cup ½ cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
freshly ground nutmeg salt
freshly ground black pepper
- Soak the cashews in enough water to cover them in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta or whatever you’re going to use the Alfredo sauce for.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Cover them in water again and puree until smooth (I use the knockoff Magic Bullet from Bella Cucina).
- Heat ‘butter’ in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic powder and stir frequently until fragrant.
- Add pureed cashews. Add enough water (you can use pasta water if you remember to reserve it) to reach your desired consistency. I added about half a cup.
- Add a few gratings of freshly grated nutmeg.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until heated through.