The easy cashew cream sauce is delicious enough to be used as-is on your favorite pasta, but its lack of commitment in any one direction renders it perfectly adaptable to be used as the base for so many other cream style sauces.
One sauce to rule them all… Gross. Don’t tell anyone I wrote that. And don’t tell anyone that I’ve never actually seen or read any of the Lord of the Rings works, unless you count that late 70s The Hobbit cartoon. I remember liking it, though. And I remember being really creeped-out by Gollum (?) and his obsession with “my precious”….
But I get it. I understand obsession. And I understand how devout one can becomes to something precious that they find. That’s how I feel about this sauce. It’s perfect. It’s the perfect consistency, which can be easily manipulated if for some reason it’s not. It’s got a great savory flavor that’s somewhere between a condensed cream of chicken soup and Alfredo sauce. In a good way.
So, here’s the recipe for “The Cream Sauce”:
This is the basic cream sauce recipe that I use as the start of so many amazing pasta dishes and bakes. This sauce is somewhere in between an Alfredo sauce and a cream of chicken soup base. With this recipe, you’ll have enough sauce for 1 pound of dry pasta.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1 ½ cups water or plant-based milk
- 2 teaspoons No Chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon*
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ lemon, juiced, or 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tamari, or low-sodium soy sauce
Quick soak the cashews by covering them with boiling water, and allowing them sit for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Combine all ingredients in a HIGH SPEED blender, and blend until creamy. The sauce will be on the thinner sauce, but it will thicken as you cook it.
Pour the sauce into a large pan, and turn to a medium heat. It’s best to start the sauce out in a cool pan to avoid scorching. Stir the sauce continuously as it cooks to avoid and burning on the bottom of the pan.
When the sauce has warmed through, and thickened to the desired consistency, add your pasta to the sauce directly from its cooking liquid. If the sauce is too thick after adding the pasta, add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water to thin it out.
*I love the flavor that the “No Chicken” Better Than Bouillon gives this sauce. It can be omitted, but you will need to adjust the salt accordingly. I like the depth of flavor that the bouillon gives. It doesn’t really read as “chicken” so much as “savory”. You could also use one Edward and Son’s “Not-Chick’n” bouillon cube if that’s all you can find.
“The Cream Sauce” is infinitely versatile, and tailorable to your tastes, but I’ve gone ahead and created three very different pasta dishes that all start out with the same base. Click the links below to see the delicious “pasta”bilities.