I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with dairy. When I was younger I had chronic stomach issues and was diagnosed as being lactose intolerant. I’m pretty positive it was either an incorrect diagnosis or I grew out of it because I eat dairy all of the time these days and it never seems to bother me. However…
I still like to limit my dairy. I’ve heard it can have negative health effects though I’m not sure if any of them are scientifically proven. Everything in moderation, right? There are certain ways to enjoy ice cream, cheese sauces and even cream without actually consuming dairy. Did you know that cashews can be turned into a “cream” sauce? When raw cashews are soaked overnight and then pureed with water, they make an amazing cream sauce or soup base. I made this pasta with cashew truffle cream sauce for Jeff last week and didn’t tell him it was dairy free until he had finished eating. He was shocked! You really can’t tell it’s not a cream sauce. I promise. I will point out the obvious, though- cashews are still high in fat and calories so I am not calling this a lighter substitute. Just sayin!
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight in cold water
- 1½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1½ tablespoons white truffle oil
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- fresh basil, sliced thin
- 1 pound pasta (I used fettuccine)
- Drain the cashews, discarding the soaking water.
- In a sturdy blender or food processor, puree cashews and 1½ cups fresh water on high speed. Scrap down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated. Continue pureeing until very smooth.
- Add salt, nutritional yeast, dried thyme, white truffle oil and pepper and blend.
- Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
- Toss the sauce and pasta together. Garnish with basil before serving.