The moon card can sometimes point out illusions. In this dish, you won’t miss the cheese because the sauce here is so good it could fool you into thinking it’s dairy.
Ingredients for sauce:
2 tbs avocado or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion (or 4 large shallots), sliced
1 inch jalapeño, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs garlic powder
1-2 tsp creole seasoning 1 tsp smoked paprika
Splash of sherry
1 cup soaked cashews
1-2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp truffle salt, add extra to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (have extra on hand to adjust thickness of sauce if desired)
1 chopped scallion
Chopped parsley for topping
Red pepper flakes
vegan Parmesan (optional)
Noodles: 1 lb macaroni or other pasta shape
What you’ll do:
Heat oil in pan on low and add the sliced onions. If you have time, slow cook them until caramelized as you add the other ingredients. If you don’t have time, just cook until soft.
Add the garlic, jalapeño, garlic powder, creole, paprika, and stir to combine. You can add a little salt here to help soften everything. Keep stirring to avoid burning if you are caramelizing.
When everything looks soft and golden, add a splash or two of sherry and let the alcohol cook off for about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the pasta.
In a very high speed blender, add the cashews, milk, and onion mixture from pan.
Blend on the highest speed until smooth.
Add the turmeric, truffle salt, and pepper to the blender and blend again. If you need a thinner sauce add more milk. If it’s too thin, you can add a few more cashews or tapioca starch.
Taste test the sauce. You might want it spicier so add more creole seasoning. Smokier? Add more smoked paprika. You get it!
Drain pasta and add to a large bowl. Pour in the sauce and mix gently.
If you’d like to bake it before serving as is, follow along:
Turn on broiler in oven.
Add the creamy pasta to individual baking dishes. Top the bowls with a little extra sauce, if you have any stuck in blender, 1 tbs bread crumbs and 1 tbs vegan Parmesan.
Bake until the topping starts to get a little golden. Carefully take the dishes out of oven. Top with fresh herbs like scallion and parsley.
Add more heat and color like a pinch of red pepper flake if you’d like.