Pasta Alfredo with Mushrooms and Peas
When I first went vegan, I thought for sure that I'd have to give up creamy sauces like alfredo. I never even imagined that I would be able to eat, let alone cook!, something so creamy and wonderful. Once I started looking further into vegan cooking methods, I learned that you can make cheesy sauces using cashews. I tried it, and it was fine, but I don't have a high speed blender that can completely liquefy the nuts; plus, cashews are kind of expensive to buy regularly. I nearly gave up until I found out that you can use silken tofu instead of cashews!
I am new to the world of silken tofu, but so far I am loving it. You don't have to press it, and it has a *silkier* consistency rather than the more crumbly extra firm tofu. It's great for sauces and smoothies because it blends down into a thick, creamy liquid that you can flavor lots of different ways.
Nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and a pinch of nutmeg, plus a heavy pinch of salt, are what help make to the tofu taste like the creamy, cheesy white sauce we all know and loved. I'm so grateful that there are lots of tips and tricks that make vegan diets non-restrictive and so easy to adopt.
Recipe adapted from Food 52's recipe.
2 servings pasta of choice
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 package silken tofu, cubed
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 Tbsp kosher salt, separated
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tsp lemon juice
fresh pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add pasta and boil for 5 minutes and then add peas for remaining 5 minutes. Drain pasta and peas in a colander. Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat until lightly browned and soft. Add to a food processor, along with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. In the pan that you cooked the onion and garlic, add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until tender and brown. Add mushrooms to pasta and peas and distribute evenly between 2 bowls. Pour sauce into the same saute pan and heat over medium low heat. Once warmed through, add 1/2 cup sauce to each bowl of pasta and mix through. If it's too dry, add a bit more sauce, but be careful not to drown the pasta. Top with fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately!