Once upon a time, I would crave the comfort food of mushroom ravioli from Macaroni Grill. This used to be one of my favorite ways to finish off the work week. We would go out to eat after work on a Friday evening and start with a bruschetta appetizer, plus a pitcher of sangria. I would always order the mushroom ravioli, the sauce was my absolute favorite part. It is so rich and creamy; perfect to slop up with their free, warm bread.
I would walk out of there feeling sluggish and heavy, having eaten my whole caloric count for the day. Thank goodness veganism has taken that meal out of the equation.
This past week, I was hit with a craving for creamy pasta that was hearty, without being too rich. I experimented a bit, and came up with a pretty decent substitute for Alfredo sauce.
I started off putting the following ingredients in my Vitamix. I adjusted the measurements here and there, the important part is to blend and taste, then adjust as necessary.
- 1 cup of cashews (soaked in water to soften)
- 1 cup of unflavored soymilk
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon of Vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic (or 1-2 garlic cloves, depending on how much you like garlic)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper
After the ingredients where thoroughly blended, I transfered the mix to a sauce pan and added the following
- 1 cup of dry white wine (I added this in first on low heat to reduce and seep into the sauce. I stirred regularly for about 10 minutes)
- 1 tablespoon of flower (I whisked this in after the wine, to thicken it up)
- 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance for a buttery finish
I was very pleased with the results. I topped whole wheat penne with the sauce, along with sauteed garlic, onions, mushrooms and spinach.
I served it up with fresh basil, fresh, cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Since I still had sauce leftover, I used it on a pizza another night, with the same toppings as the pasta, adding in sun-dried tomatoes.
This definitely cured my craving!