Cashew Cream Sauce

Last week I came upon this recipe and realized that vegans have figured out how to make delicious cream sauce without cream or butter.

The picture on the site looked so good that John and I put it on the menu for last week. It was so good and easy to make we ended up having it this week, too.

I made a couple of small changes, noted below. The color in mine was a bit darker than the one on vegan yum yum's, and to me this tasted nothing like alfredo sauce, but I didn't care because it tasted so good. It has so many different flavors and the texture is really creamy. We made a giant batch and added broccoli and mushrooms (not shown here), and the sauce was enough to cover everything perfectly. When reheating it I used a trick my mom used to use. I add a little (soy) milk to the noodles before they go in the microwave and a little after, and that helps make the reheated version a little creamier. The leftovers aren't quite as good as the first night's batch, but they're still tastey. Now I'm really interesting in finding more vegan cream sauces!

Vegan Cashew Cream Sauce
adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

1 cup plain soy milk
3 tbs tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs dijon mustard (we used honey mustard, it's what we have)
2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbs tahini
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews (we used roasted, which may account for the color)
2 cloves of garlic
1 lb. of pasta, any shape

Boil water for the pasta, cook according to package directions. This will take longer than making the sauce.

Combine all ingredients except the pasta in a blender. If you prefer it to be extremely smooth then strain the sauce before adding it to the pasta (otherwise you'll have a few larger bits of cashew, but they're pretty good, too). Blend on high until smooth.

Drain cooked pasta and return to the hot. Add the sauce and heat on medium (or medium-low) until sauce is heated through. Add any additional vegetables, etc.* Serve.

*We also steamed 3 heads of broccoli and sauteed about 1.5 cups of mushrooms, then added the pasta and sauce to the pan with the vegetables. We also added 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. It's easy to add things to this, as you might with any cream sauce, so add whatever you think might taste good. The recipe calls for fresh basil on top, but nothing about this tasted like Italian food so I skipped the basil.