I wasn't much of a creamy sauce person as a meat eater, I never really liked egg yolks, carbonara, or cream in general, but since eating plant based I crave that creaminess. I have tried out heaps of different ways to make the best vegan cream sauce and to be honest there isn't just one. It really depends on what you are using it for. For instance, the cream sauce I use in a lasagna, would be a different recipe/consistency to a cream sauce I want to reduce down with some pasta, similarly even with pasta, the cream sauce I use for mac and cheese because it is already quite a dense dish I have a different recipe for that also.
This cream sauce in particular is silky smooth, packed with flavour and relatively easy to make.
When making a cream sauce I also try and have as many of the ingredients vegetable based as possible, to make it lighter than your average dense cashew cream sauce. Also, I've never used tofu in a cream sauce either, I don't know if its just that I like to use as many whole foods in my cooking as possible or if I just think that tofu should be left to add chewy texture to a dish and absorb marinated and spice rubs, none the less this recipe for me is the ultimate.
50 MINUTES. SERVES 3
75g soaked cashews, preferably over night
1 carrot, peeled & sliced
1 potato, peeled & sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 or 4 bay leaf
1 tbs pepper corns
1 tsp garlic poweder
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tbs miso paste
1 tbs black pepper
100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks kale, finely chopped
200g frozen sweetcorn
Firstly prepare the sauce, this will take the longest. Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil.
Roughly chop the carrot, potato and onion and add to the boiling water along with the bay leaves and peppercorns. Leave to cook for 15 minutes. The vegetables are ready when you can insert a knife into them easily.
When draining the vegetables reserve the cooking water, we will use this to loosen the sauce later on.
Add the cooked vegetables, cashews, nutritional yeast, miso and cracked pepper to a high speed blender. Add 100ml of the cooking water and blend. Be careful blending hot ingredients in the blender, make sure you allow air escape while blending.
Blend until the sauce is smooth, if it is too thick add more of the cooking liquid and blend a second time. Again, reserve this as we will use it to loosen the sauce at the end too.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, heavily salt the water. Add the farfalle and cook the pasta 4 minutes short of package instructions - we want this to be very al dente as it will finish cooking with the sauce.
In separate pan while the pasta is cooking add some olive oil and pan fry the mushrooms. They should take about 7/8 minutes. Set aside when nice and golden brown.
To assemble the pasta dish. Drain the pasta, in that same large sauce pot add the sauce. Let the sauce cook down for 5 minutes, add more of the reserved vegetable liquid if it gets too thick. Add the pasta and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Add the frozen sweetcorn, shredded kale and mushrooms for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
The sauce should be lovely and glossy, not too thick and should coat the pasta well.
Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve with chopped parsley if you have it.