Recently I have become slightly (mostly) obsessed with creating creamy sauces from raw cashews.
What’s amazing about this nut is that once it is soaked and pureed it likens the cheesy creaminess of dairy without a hint of the nutty bitterness that sometimes comes from using almonds or walnuts.
At home we’ve been slurping this sauce with fresh pasta all summer, but recently I made it with my students and substituted the fresh pasta with good-old macaroni for a protein packed, out-of-this-world mac-and-cheese!
The success of this sauce depends on really well-soaked cashews, so make sure to throw your cashews in water (enough to cover them) for at least 6 hours in the fridge (I often leave them overnight so I don’t forget to soak in the morning for that evening’s meal).
1 ¼ c Raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for a minimum of six hours
1 lg or 2 smaller garlic cloves, peeled
½ c Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, finely grated (you want the cheese to be grated to a powdery consistency)
1 c Water, room temp
1 lb Pasta of your choice (I love it with fresh linguine)
Drain nuts and rinse with water. Add the nuts, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper and water to a blender. Blend on the highest speed until everything is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss with pasta (preferably just drained and hot). Serve immediately with a fresh garden salad.
I believe cooking and eating should not be a source of anxiety in your life. It is the simplest of pleasures and should, at its core, remain simple.