Vegan Cacio e Pepe
A dairy free twist on a classic dish.
I originally found this recipe for vegan cacio e pepe from Kitchen Treaty, but as always, I like to tweak the recipes I find. This is my first try at something like this and I must say it turned out to be quite good! Check out the original recipe from Kitchen Treaty here.
For the cashew cheese:
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
For the dish:
Whole wheat spaghetti
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup of the cashew parmesan
1/2 cup of cooking water
I started by preparing the cashew "parmesan" while the water for the pasta was boiling. I used my Ninja to crush the 1/2 cup of cashews with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, sea salt, and black pepper. I never actually measure anything when it comes to spices but prefer to season to taste since most recipes don't use enough spice to please my palette.
Setting that aside, I cooked a handful of whole wheat spaghetti - I don't measure noodles either thought the recipe calls for 1/2 pound. When draining the noodles, I saved a 1/2 cup of the water to add to the cashew mix to create the cheese sauce. Mixing the noodles, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the crushed cashews in a bowl, I slowly added the water and mixed it all up as the recipe states. I found for my taste that the noodles needed more flavor, so I added 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and more sea salt and pepper, and a pinch more garlic salt. There should be some cashew mix left over to sprinkle on top. Top off with a little more black pepper, and voila! You have yourself a quick vegan noodle dish to eat alone or as a side with another yummy treat. I made a wrap to go with the noodles, using Beyond Meat Chicken Strips, pesto, chopped green peppers, white onions, green onions, and a bit of Italian salad dressing.
Next time I make this I will spice it up even more, or try my own variation. But really I just wanted to share this great alternative I found for anyone who is vegan or can't eat dairy. It's a super simple and quick dish.