Vegan Alfredo Sauce
8 ounces dry gluten free spaghetti or fettuccine (I actually used wide, flat rice noodles from A Taste of Thai)
3/4 cup (90 g) raw cashews
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) vegetable stock
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) full-fat coconut milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed, peeled and chopped
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thickly
1 tablespoon (9 g) gum-free gluten free flour blend (or you can use sweet white rice flour or even cornstarch)
1/8 teaspoon + 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon (14 g) extra virgin olive oil (I actually used avocado oil)
Water, as needed
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions while preparing the rest of the meal. Place the cashews in a spice grinder or food processor and grind until powdered, 30 to 60 seconds. Be careful not to grind into nut butter. Place the stock, coconut milk, ground cashews and chopped garlic in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining pieces of solid cashew, and set it aside.
In a medium-size bowl, toss the sliced mushrooms with the flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus about 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper until the mushrooms are coated completely. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it ripples, and add the coated mushrooms. Stir to combine, cover the pan and allow the mushrooms to cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Uncover the pan and stir the mushrooms to release any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the sauce, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground black pepper to the pan, and stir to combine. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it’s as thick as you’d like it to be. If it thickens too much, whisk in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Add the cooked noodles to the pan, and toss gently to coat with tongs.
Divide the mixture among 4 dishes, and garnish with the optional fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
This recipe is adapted with permission from Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets (affiliate link) by Alisa Fleming (BenBella Books, 2018).