Creamy Cashew Cheese Pasta Sauce

So it's probably a little misleading calling this a cheese sauce, considering it doesn't have any cheese in it and the main ingredient is cauliflower...! This is no strike of genius on my part - I've read many recipes for white sauces using cauliflower as the base, and decided it was a good use for the head of cauliflower in my fridge which was starting to look a little sad. 

I grew up on bowls of pasta drowned in cheese sauce (made traditionally, of course, with milk, butter and tasty cheese) and can honestly say that this sauce is just as comforting, and a hell of a lot healthier. It tastes cheese-y to me, but that may just be my vegan-warped taste buds which can't really remember what cheese tastes like (I'm eagerly-awaiting a phone call from my sister who will no doubt tell me it tastes NOTHING like cheese, and that I should get back to the drawing board on this one).

Anyway, I think it's particularly impressive, considering it's made with whole foods, which means no fats, oils or processed foods (such as vegan cheese). It would make my recipe blogging-life so much easier if I could drown things in fat but it's just not how I like to eat. I could spend my days making beautiful vegan cupcakes and cakes, but that's not the kind of food I want to be eating every day! I've accepted the challenge of making whole plant foods taste good, and I'm sticking to it.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plant milk (e.g. soy milk, almond milk)
  • 2 heaped cups of chopped cauliflower (about 250g)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews (50g)
  • 1-2 TB nutritional yeast to taste (you can buy these golden yellow flakes in health food stores)
  • a small pinch of white pepper
  • a small pinch of nutmeg
  • salt to taste 

Method

  1. Steam the cauliflower until tender, and place in the jug of a high-speed blender with the milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, white pepper, nutmeg and a small pinch of salt. Blend on high-speed until smooth. It makes about 2 cups of sauce, which is more than enough for pasta for two people.

Simple! I served mine with wholemeal pasta and shredded Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) which I just threw into the boiling pasta water when there was a minute or so left of the clock (for the pasta).

Note/ This sauce also works really well as a sauce for steamed mixed greens. Yum!