When I think of Alfredo sauce I picture a thick creamy, cheesy sauce that’s heavy, decadent and quite delicious.
Many of us may also picture the ancient Italian buildings and sitting down at a quaint restaurant somewhere on a square in beautiful Italy. But if we were to order fettuccine Alfredo in Italy we’d be served a dish different from the one most of us think of.
In Italy, Alfredo sauce is simply buttered pasta with grated parmesan cheese, and as the parmesan melts into the pasta it creates that creaminess that we so love.
In many restaurants all over the World when we order Alfredo sauce we’d be served a thick, buttery, very creamy and cheesy sauce. As delicious (and unhealthy) as this version is, you can see that this is not how it’s served in Italy. So I guess we should call this international Alfredo sauce rather than Italian Alfredo sauce.
If you come to my house and I cook you my vegan Alfredo sauce, then you’re in for a different kind of sauce — it’s still creamy and tangy and coats the pasta perfectly, but obviously it’s more Alfredoesque and not like either the traditional or international versions.
The first time I made this for my husband I didn’t tell him it was vegan, just said it was Alfredo fettuccine pasta, he devoured his first serving and asked if he could have a second helping. It wasn’t until we were done eating that I told him it was vegan, he was surprised and he said it was quite good and asked if I could make it again sometime soon, it’s gone into our meal rotation. My husband is a big fan of dairy, so it’s a great compliment that he enjoyed the non-dairy sauce.
Let me bring you into my kitchen today so we can make my Alfredoesque vegan sauce that’s not only delicious, but also goes amazingly well with fettuccine or spaghetti or whatever kind of pasta you’d like to use. I love adding broccoli to mine but you can omit it or serve it on the side.
- ½ cup almonds blanched & soaked*
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- large pinch of white pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 2 heaping TBSP nutritional yeast
- 2 TBSP cornstarch
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup white onion
- 1.5 TBSP olive oil
- Blanch the almonds, rinse then cover with water and allow to soak for at least 3 hours or overnight. It is very important that they be very soft so that they completely breakdown and not leave graininess in your sauce. Alternatively if you have a very powerful blender you may be able to skip the soaking step.
- Once the almonds have been blanched and softened place them in the blender with the water, process until completely broken down. Next add all the remaining ingredients except the oil, and blend until completely combined.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and then carefully pour in the sauce, cook over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens to the same consistency as a cream sauce. Make sure to taste for salt and adjust if necessary. (TIP: as your sauce is cooking you can boil the pasta and blanch the broccoli if you're using it. Then once they are cooked and the sauce has thickened you can combine and serve straightaway.
** I use this sauce to make two big main servings using 8.8oz or 250g of dry pasta. It's plenty to completely coat the pasta and leave a creaminess too.
For the broccoli I use a very small head but you can use as much or as little as you'd like.