Most vegan white sauce recipes rely on either tofu or cashews, but we decided that they’re better together!
This creamy plant-based pasta sauce was developed just for you to take care of that particular pasta sauce craving. You know the one we’re talking about: Alfredo. I don’t know about you, but I love a hearty pasta covered in a garlicky, buttery, white wine sauce. After eating something that’s cream-based with Parmesan, though, my stomach begins to regret it. Although this vegan white sauce is not an Alfredo, it’s a close enough resemblance to add to your meal rotation.
Layer Flavors to Create The Tastiest Pasta Ever
Instead of using animal-based fats that can clog your arteries, we blended soft tofu with soaked cashews to make this creamy vegan white sauce. It starts as an onion-garlic roux simmered in white wine and Italian seasoning to provide a deep tonal backdrop of flavor. Adding in a bit of nutritional yeast furthers the flavor, giving it that cheesy vibe. In less than thirty minutes you can pull off a healthy vegan dinner that tastes amazing.
Tofu And Cashews: Who Knew?
Most vegan white sauce recipes rely on either tofu or cashews, but we decided that they’re better together. Boy, were we right! Tofu soaks up other flavors perfectly while cashews bring the texture. The umami magic of nutritional yeast and heavily simmered, savory onions provide even more texture and flavor.
If the sauce seems too thick at any time, feel free to add some veggie broth (or more wine!) to thin it out. If wine isn’t an item you choose to cook with, fear not. You can always use veggie broth, but we suggest adding more herbs with the onion roux to deepen the flavor.
Seasoning Is Everything In Vegan White Sauce
Fresh herbs are fantastic when used in pasta dishes. Once you go fresh, it’s hard to return to the omnipresence of dried herbs in the pantry. Because dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh, you don’t need to use as much. The correct ratio for substitutions is one tablespoon of fresh herbs to one teaspoon of dried herbs.
Garlic, especially fresh, is one ingredient that people either love or hate. Italian dishes do tend to call for a great deal of garlic, and this recipes is no exception. Unfortunately, prepping garlic is painstaking, and minced garlic in jars of oily water have much allure for saving time. I now admit that the annoying process of a garlic press is well worth the extra effort in cleaning. Years ago my French mother-in-law convinced me I ruined meals by using pre-minced garlic. Smashing garlic cloves with a heavy knife or grating it on a micro plane equally works.
Springboard For All Sauces Vegan
Use the method described in this recipe as a tipping-off point for more plant-based pasta sauces. For a long time, Italians have used beans, blanched and blended greens, heavy broths, and nuts in their sauces. The trick to making great pasta sauces is to add some pasta water to your sauce to create cohesion. Topped with bread crumbs or toasted nuts, a vegan white sauce shines like a star.
Don’t be afraid to load your creamy plant-based pasta sauce with some color. We love peas, asparagus, greens, mushrooms, and/or baby tomatoes in this dish. Not only do they add a little flair, but they also taste great. The best thing about vegan white sauce? The calories are low, yet the ingredients are filling.
Creamy Plant Based Pasta Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups onion diced finely
- 1 1/4 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soak for 15 minutes then drain
- 1 block tofu soft
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- Add onion and one cup of wine to large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Cook for eight minute, then add thyme and garlic. Cook another eight minutes until the onion/garlic mixture has fully absorbed the wine.
- Blend cashews with vegetable broth and lemon juice until creamy. Add onion/garlic mix and purée until there are no visible chunks. Add salt and pepper, tofu, and nutritional yeast until blended well.
- Return the mix to the pot, add 1/4 cup of wine and simmer some more until the alcohol has cooked out. Another 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Serve on a bed of pasta or other grain. 3/4 cup per serving.
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