Who loves pasta? Who loves cheesy sauces made out of plant based goodness? If you do, then you MUST try this recipe! It's a life saver on these days, when all what you want to do is cover yourself with a blanket and pretend you are a cocoon at the front of the TV...or when you are really not up for fancy- schmancy dinner and just want to stuff your face with something good, familiar and comforting, and is really easy to make. Sounds familiar? Ready? Here we go...
Since changing my diet a little, and trying to eliminate dairy, I've been missing cheese like crazy! My attempts to go fully vegan failed many times before, and cheese is mainly to blame. I found it incredibly hard to quit this smelly, salty and creamy things. You would think that because it is smelly and salty it will be easy to forget about it, but I guess I've always been attracted to weird things and this is no exception.
Thankfully there are cashews and nutritional yeast!!! I will never stop being amazed by cashews and how many things you can turn them into. Small nut, but oh, how powerful! Funny enough, until incorporating more of vegan diet, I didn't even know that nuts could be used for anything else than a topping for cookies or chocolate! Yup, I was a nut virgin in a way...NOT ANYMORE!!!
Cashew cheese sauce is also great for pizza's or savory snacks like tarts and muffins. Or even as a dip on some chips, crisps or veggies. Actually, I could eat it on pretty much anything. But the area where it really takes it to the next level and will blew your cotton socks away, is with pasta. It's a great base for any creamy sauce, and I happen to fancy some Carbonara, so here we are.
The preparation and cooking times for this recipe is not including soaking cashews, and I would recommend you to soak them overnight. Some recipes suggest that 3-4 hours will be enough, but I found that texture is not as smooth and creamy as when leaving them in water over night. It tastes good, but it's not the same (just like in that advert!). Also, you can store it in your fridge for 3-4 days, so get ready for some cheesy moments! If you are cashew cheese virgin, you must try this. There will be no disappointment, I can guarantee you!!! Now, enough talking, say 'cheese', and carb up!!!
Carbonara with creamy cashew cheese
- 1 cup of cashews (soaked overnight)
- ¾ cup vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 onion minced
- salt and pepper
- 250 g wholewheat spaghetti pasta
- 300 g white close cup mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 small onion (minced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1- 2 tbsp olive oil
- fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Rinse your cashews and place in blender along with the rest of ingredients.
- Blend until you have smooth, creamy texture and set aside.
- Cook your pasta as per package instructions, cool down and drizzle with olive oil, set aside.
- Heat up medium frying pan and add 1-2 tbsp. olive oil.
- Add garlic and stir fry for a minute.
- Add onion and mushrooms and stir fry until golden brown (about 5 mins).
- Add fresh or frozen peas and cook further for 3 mins, stir in 4 tbsp. of cashew cheese and mix until well combined.
- Serve immediately, sprinkle with fresh parsley.