This is probably the single most requested post I’ve had from close friends and family members for the simple reason that they cannot believe something vegan could be so decadent and creamy!
The first time I made this cheese sauce, I served it over pasta with some fresh basil and tomatoes (recipe at end) for my boyfriend to taste. Needless to say, he loved it enough to take some leftovers to his work the next day where he proceeded to offer a sample to a coworker and thus began the inquiries on when I would be posting the recipe and just how they could convince me to make some more! My own mother has requested I whip up a jar and drop it off at her place to eat!
So just what is this magical sauce made up of? Mainly cashews! These cuties need to be soaked for 4-6 hours beforehand, however. You can purchase them in your local Bulk Aisle. Make sure you get organic RAW cashews ( not roasted or seasoned at all). For soaking, place desired quantity of cashews in a container and then add 3x the amount of water to the container. This allows the cashews to plump up and become soft enough that when you blend them they have a creamy consistency to them. Drain and rinse before use in your recipe.
The original recipe I had found was from connoisseurusveg.com and although it was delicious, I decided to add a few more ingredients and alter the quantities to suit my needs and tastes a little better!
My edited recipe is as follows:
Cashew Cheese Sauce
- 1 1/4 C raw cashews (soaked and rinsed)
- 1 C unflavored soy/almond milk
- 3 TBLS freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 TBLS Vegan White Miso Paste (found in refrigerated vegan section of your local grocery store) *I’m specifying Vegan here because some miso pastes contain fish
- 2 Large garlic cloves minced
- 2 TBLS nutritional yeast (this gives it a slightly cheesier taste)
- 1/2 Tsp of salt and more to taste
Combine all ingredients and blend till creamy, adding more milk 1/4 C at a time for a thinner sauce.
To heat: pour sauce in a small saucepan and gradually bring to heat on a medium flame- being careful not to boil it.
So now that you’ve made your cheese sauce, what on earth are you going to use it on?!
My suggestion would be to bring a pot of penne pasta to al-dente consistency and pour it right over it. Add in about 3 TBLS dried basil or a 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped) and 2 small tomatoes diced with some red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste! This is the same recipe I had whipped up for my very first batch of vegan cheese!
Enjoy and stay full!