I realized that when I'm in a bad mood, eating takeout is guaranteed to make me feel worse. Not because I don't like it, but because when I feel down I want to feel properly fed and looked after, and takeout makes me feel unloved.
Instead, I made this creamy Alfredo pasta sauce, adapted from Chloe Coscarelli's recipe. Bascially, it's sauteed onion and garlic blended with cashews and some miso for that umami hit. It's fast: If you have a Blendtec or Vitamix, the sauce comes together while the pasta cooks (if you don't, you can still make a fast dinner if you had the foresight to soak your cashews before leaving for work). It's smooth and creamy and comforting on a cold day in March when you have the grumps and your partner has the world's worst cold.
I forgot to take a picture. Here's a photo of another nice vegan Alfredo sauce, from Healthy Happy Life.
I varied the recipe a bit. I doubled the garlic - always! - and the miso, and added about a quarter cup of nutritional yeast. Also, I sauteed about a half pound of sliced mushrooms and, after tossing the pasta in the sauce, added some thawed frozen peas and a handful of the oregano and thyme that are still getting by in our Earthboxes.
Nutty pasta Alfredo
- 1 pound pasta (I used rotini, because it was what we had, but fettuccine would be much better and more slurpable)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup raw cashews (if you don't have a high-powered blender like a Blend-Tec or Vitamix, soak them for at least a couple of hours beforehand. Or not. If you don't, your sauce will be grainier, but it will still be delicious)
- 4 teaspoons miso (white or yellow)
- About a quarter cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs for garnish.
- (Optional): A half-pound or so of sauteed mushrooms and a cup of peas, or vegetables of your choice. Leeks, I think, would be very nice.
Boil heavily salted water and cook the pasta.
Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, then blend with the water, lemon juice, garlic, cashews, water, miso, salt and pepper, and nutritional yeast. Blend, blend, blend! I ran my Blendtec's Soup cycle twice, then gave it another 30 seconds or so on high.
Drain the pasta, saving a cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and vegetables, thinning with pasta water if necessary. Scatter the roughly chopped herbs over the pasta and serve hot.