By Chef Linda
Thick, creamy, and rich, Alfredo Sauce takes any dish to new heights. Unfortunately, traditional versions can also take your blood pressure and scale to new heights. One of the glorious things about eating these days is that there are so many new ways to recreate textures and flavors we love, without the health risks and without the cruelty. Alfredo Sauce is the perfect example.
Typically made with lots of butter and heavy cream, a restaurant-sized portion of fettuccine Alfredo can pack a whopping 2,000 calories or more. Thank goodness for vegan versions of this comfort food. Some boast cauliflower as the base, others use non-dairy milk; both are worth trying for yourself. In this version, I'm using a combination of creamy cashews and avocado to achieve the luscious texture, and nutritional yeast and miso to impart the cheesy-umami flavor typically created by using parmesan. The result will have you craving this sauce on everything from pasta to pizza
In this recipe, I used zucchini noodles instead of pasta to keep things super-light, but feel free to use your favorite pasta. Zucchini noodles can be made with a simple, low-cost tool found in many stores today. I use the one pictured at left and it was less than $15. If you can't find one, use a regular vegetable peeler to create strips; either way, the taste is the same…dreamy and delicious.
Cashew Avocado Alfredo Sauce
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for several hours and drained
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 just-ripe avocado, pitted
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon mellow white or yellow miso
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 to 6 medium-size zucchini, cut into spirals or peeled into strips (or use your favorite pasta and cook according to package directions)
Place all the ingredients, except the zucchini in a blender and puree until smooth – start with 1/2 cup water, then add more to achieve desired consistency. The sauce should be creamy and thick, but pourable. Add freshly ground pepper, then adjust seasonings if necessary. Toss with raw zucchini noodles or, if you prefer, quickly sauté the zucchini noodles in a pan with a little bit of olive oil to soften. Unused sauce can be stored in a tightly covered container for a day or two, but the bright green will begin to turn brown with exposure to air.