Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fettuccine with Cashew Cream

Making nut butters at home is incredibly easy, and quite fun.  Even though you can find just about any nut butter on the shelves these days at health food stores, the homemade version is much cheaper.  This pasta dish uses a creamy mix of cashew butter and water to replace the heavy cream-based sauce of a traditional fettuccine Alfredo.

  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 and 1/4 cups water
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 cups hot cooked fettuccine*
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Place the cashews in a food processor and process for about 2 minutes, until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once.  Add the water while the processor is on, and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once.

2. Place the cashew mixture in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute; the cream will be thick.  Indeed, I was amazed that a mixture of nothing more than nuts and water would grow so wonderfully thick in just one minute - a great discovery.

3. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the cashew cream, cooked fettuccine, cheese, black pepper, and salt.  Cook for a final few minutes until thoroughly heated.

Note: I used the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods tonight.  Use your favorite vegan cheese or even nutritional yeast for "cheesiness" instead if you prefer.

*Start boiling the water for the pasta when you begin the rest of the recipe.  That way your pasta will be done at the right moment.  Start with 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine to yield 4 cups cooked.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 and 1/3 cups), Calories 378 

Tasting Notes:
Although I was pleasantly surprised at the creamy thickness of the cashew cream - it coated the pasta perfectly, and if I had been served this in a restaurant, I would never guess it wasn't cream-based - I was also disappointed to find that the recipe was bland.  You'll definitely want to add more salt and pepper.  I also think that some vegetable additions couldn't hurt... so much so in fact that I stirred together the fettuccine and the green peas on my plate midway through eating.  Wilted spinach or chopped broccoli would probably also taste great. 


No comments:

Post a Comment