Creamy anything is what I’d say the majority of people want. Like, if shit ain’t creamy we don’t want it, so replicating creaminess in the plant world, can be challenging. Especially something like fettuccine alfredo which traditionally is comprised of cream and parmesan cheese. In all honesty, I was never really a fan of cheese alfredo for the reason that it just reminded me of a cheap Olive Garden pasta that you order at your friend’s 16 year old birthday party. You know…where you only eat like 20% of the dish because it gets sticky and cold, and the garlic cheese bread ends up being 10x better than the pasta, so you get full on that instead? We’ve all been there and it sucks. Olive Garden, you straight up suck.
So, why was I tempted to create a creamy alfredo in the plant world? Well, because why the fuck not? Interestingly enough, this dish has become a bi-weekly dish that I love, and I find that it’s one hundred times better than the, “fake,” version with cheese.
We can use “real,” ingredients that are more nourishing for us and control the amount of creaminess with plant ingredients. Plus, for those that are lactose intolerant, this dish is a sure fire way to get your alfredo fix on without the dairy stomach pains and toilet runs.
I chose to use some almond milk and cashew cream. Cashew cream is an important Vegan substitute for any type of application requiring cream and is super versatile. The cauliflower helps to add a heartiness to the cream that just comforts the soul and boiling everything for 20 minutes can get you an easy cream sauce to put on top of any type of noodle. Miso paste, in all it’s fermented glory, will punch up your sauce and provide saltiness to cream. If you’re a fan of Japanese miso soups, having miso on hand is such a great idea for quick use, anytime.
Once everything has come together, all you have to do is blend the shit out of it and, BOOM, your sauce is done. It’s tremendously helpful if you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix, but if you don’t, it’s all good. Just make sure to blend everything for a longer period so the sauce is silky smooth.
For the pasta, I used a vegan fettuccine from Pasta Etc., based in Sonoma County, CA. I believe you can get this brand at Whole Foods. It was the perfect noodle for this application and I found the texture to be spot on. I’d imagine a dried linguini can easily work for this too.
After your sauce has been blended, placing it back in your sauce pan and warming it up with the noodles with a pinch of nutmeg, will give you tons of control to put as much or as little creaminess as your heart desires. A two minute mix is perfect for this and as a side note, if you use purple cauliflower like I did, you can squeeze some lemon over the dish, for finishing it, and watch the sauce turn purple like Hypercolor t-shirts from the 90’s. Yaaaaaaaaas.
Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo
A traditional pasta, made plant-based, that will hold its texture longer and nourish your soul with comfort.
- 1 clove garlic
- 2.5 cups almond milk
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp red or white miso paste
- 2 tbsp dry vermouth
- 1/2 cauliflower head
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 8 oz. vegan fettuccine pasta
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- Lemon wedges for finishing
- 1 tsp of lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Prepare cauliflower by rinsing tops and removing bottom. Cut half of the head and reserve half for a later time. Break down half head of cauliflower into small pieces.
- In a saucepan, heat coconut oil over low-medium heat and add a smashed garlic clove. Add cashews and miso paste and stir to blend with oil. Combine cauliflower, dry vermouth, almond milk, and a pinch of salt in saucepan and cover. Let simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
- After cauliflower is tender, turn off heat and let sauce slightly cool down. Pour everything into a blender with 1/4 cup of water. Add nutritional yeast and blend until very smooth.
- Boil pasta for 3-4 minutes.
- While waiting for pasta to boil, place sauce back into sauce pan to warm up with nutmeg. Once warmed over low heat, take finished pasta directly from water pot, into your saucepan. Mix for 2 minutes until pasta is nicely coated. Add additional pasta water if sauce becomes too sticky.
- Plate and serve pasta with garnish of parsley, squeeze of lemon, and lemon zest. Salt and Pepper to your preference. Bon appetit!