Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish I’ve missed for quite a long time since going vegan. It’s not something I’ve ever made at home, as I think of it as it’s a dining out sort of dish. You know, fettuccine tossed gently in an elegant béchamel, a white napkin draped across your lap, candlelight and a good glass of Pinot Grigio. The sauce is velvety, creamy, garlicky, and worth its weight in butter and cream.
I love Fettuccine Alfredo made perfectly creamy and perfumed with lots of garlic. That’s why I use an entire bulb!
The other day, my youngest daughter had a craving for Fettuccine Alfredo. So it was time I tried making this pasta dish, however, with entirely vegan ingredients. It can be done, my vegan friends!
Some people might not prefer it made vegan, I suppose. That’s okay. I’ve had my fair share of good butter and cream, so I do know the difference. Having once lived in New Orleans, I can confess to my love of butter and cream sauces. I dined at Commander’s Palace (I’ve lovingly referred to it as ‘Butter Palace’) among other New Orleanian fine dining institutions, such as Galatoire’s and Arnaud’s. When I think of butter and recipes that heavily rely upon butter, I think of all the classic French recipes where butter is the main ingredient– yes, let’s face it, we all know butter is butter.
Recently, I received a direct message on Instagram from a chef that read: “Vegan butter is an oxymoron!” He was referring to my story about my favorite vegan butter, Miyoko’s Kitchen*.
All this being preface to my recipe here for an entirely vegan Alfredo sauce that will totally make you swoon! I’m so pleased to share this recipe with you. I use Miyoko’s Kitchen vegan butter, which in my opinion, is the closest thing to butter in plant-based form. The ingredients contain mainly coconut oil and cashews. Both magical ingredients capable of attaining a velvety creamy texture, when combined with garlic (a whole bulb!) and aquafaba (amazing stuff) plus cheesy tasting nutritional yeast, you’ve got a hefty forkful of creamy pasta to swirl.
Another magic ingredient in this vegan Alfredo sauce is chickpea water, known as aquafaba. The brine water from a can of chickpeas is transformative stuff! Simply drain a can of chickpeas and use a few tablespoons of the water in this sauce. If that’s too weird of an idea for you, or you don’t have any cans of chickpeas around, don’t worry. The sauce is fine without it. But for those who are curious, try adding a little aquafaba and see what it does to add body to your sauce. It makes it a little extra delicious and creamy.
The thing about this pasta is that it must be made fresh and served immediately. Also, the fats (cashews, vegan butter – coconut oil and cashews, olive oil, etc.) are healthy fats. You will notice how much easier you digest and feel good, rather than weighed down by a heavy meal. I do recommend you serve a small portion of this pasta with a green veggie side dish like roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed green beans, or broccolini.
Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- 8-10 ounces pasta (fettuccine or tagliatelle)
- 4-6 tbl vegan butter (Miyoko’s Kitchen)
- 1 head of garlic, blanched cloves
- 1-2 tbl olive oil
- 1/2 tbl arrowroot powder
- 1 3/4 – 2 cups plain cashew milk (homemade is best)
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 4-6 tbl (20-30 g) nutritional yeast
- 2-3 tbl aquafaba (from 1 can drained garbanzo bean/chickpea water)
- spoonful of raw garlic paste (optional)
- sea salt & fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- minced chives (garnish)
- minced parsley (garnish)
- shoyu marinated shiitake mushrooms (garnish)
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, red onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic is soft and caramelized. I use blanched garlic (a trick I learned from Chef Wolfgang Puck) because blanching garlic in hot water brings out the sweetness and cuts the bitter zing of the garlic.
- Continue to sauté the garlic and red onion, as you reduce heat. Add a pinch of arrowroot. Whisk to combine. Cook for about a minute or two, and then add freshly made cashew milk, a little at a time, whisking until smooth. You will add the sauce to the blender next, so don’t worry about the pieces of garlic and red onion.
- Transfer the sauce to a high-speed blender. Add sea salt, black pepper, aquafaba and nutritional yeast. If you are using garlic paste to bump up the garlic in your sauce, add it in now.
- Blend all on high speed until creamy with a smooth and velvety consistency.
- Return sauce back to saucepan. Heat gently on low heat until it warms, then reduce to lowest heat until it thickens. This sauce can thicken quite a lot, so have some extra cashew milk, aquafaba and vegan butter at the ready to thin the sauce if you need.
- Add pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions. Mind your pot — drain in colander once it reaches al dente texture.
- Add pasta to a large bowl or clean saucepan and toss carefully with Alfredo sauce, incorporating all of the noodles in sauce, taking care to coat the pasta entirely.
- Serve in wide bowls and garnish with minced chives, parsley and shoyu marinated mushrooms – or – keep the dish simple: just sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast. Finish off your plating with a generous amount of ground black pepper.
- Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to a few days, though the sauce gets clumpy. Reheat with a little veggie broth/and or aquafaba to wet the sauce if you’d like.
*Please note: This is not a sponsored post. I was not compensated by Miyoko’s Kitchen brand to promote their vegan butter product, but I just so happen to enthusiastically love it!