When a non-vegan can’t tell the difference, you know you have a winner. This pasta is fast and fabulous, even if faux.
Cashews make a cream that is soft, smooth and subtle. And that means it adds wonderful texture and richness without dominating flavour. As the base for a creamy alfredo sauce, inspired by Post Punk Kitchen, cashew cream is perfect. My non-vegan husband loves it.
This is very fast to make, so I suggest you do it all in this order:
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Slice or chop half a leek and slice about 2 cups worth of swiss brown mushrooms. I prefer very thin slices of both. And you can use different mushrooms – even a variety of them like enoki, oyster or button.
Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil (non virgin) in a pan or large pot, and add the sliced leeks and mushrooms to gently sauté. At this point I will also add a minced garlic clove or about 1/2 tsp dried herbs. There is a nice one I have that has lavender flowers in it, called Herbs de Provence, made by Your Inspiration at Home).
The pasta water should be boiling now, so add enough pasta for 2 servings (to use up the sauce you’re about to make). I use khorosan spaghetti or conchiglie when I need/want a carb hit, otherwise I use Mung Bean Fettuccine.
When the leeks and mushrooms are done to your liking, add half a cup of white wine and let it reduce.
While the wine is reducing, process about 30g raw cashews to a powder. I use my Bamix along with a small coffee grinder accessory. Then to the cashew powder, add 2 to 3 tbps of nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp white miso paste and about 1/4 cup water. Blend this to a smooth cream, adding a bit more water until you get the consistency of dairy cream. With the Bamix it only takes about half to one minute (and I’m probably overdoing it).
Add the cashew cream to the wine-soaked leeks and mushrooms, and stir to form the faux-alfredo sauce. Let it simmer very gently for a minute or two to thicken and mingle the flavours. If it’s too thick, add a little more water.
The pasta will be close to done now, so drain it and toss it into the alfredo sauce. Give it a quick tangle, season with salt and pepper, and serve.