It’s hard to believe this decadent, velvety “alfredo” sauce is dairy-free and packed with protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory ingredients, but sometimes miracles do happen! The pumpkin and turmeric give the sauce its bright, cheerful color, while also adding beta carotene and anti-inflammatory compounds. I love this sauce served over gluten-free pasta and steamed veggies for an easy weeknight meal, but it would also be wonderful in a casserole.
This has been a long, severely cold winter in the upper Midwest, with air temperatures frequently dipping well below zero, and windchills regularly down in the -30s. This luxurious sauce is winter’s antidote: nesty comfort food that’s actually good for your body!
Pumpkin “Alfredo” Sauce
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for 1 to 2 hours and drained
1 small onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup broth or almond milk, heated
2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread or additional olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric
Optional: pinch cayenne or 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Optional: 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil over medium heat until onions turn translucent. Add turmeric and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add more broth or almond milk as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve while still warm, poured over hot pasta and vegetables.
Leftover sauce keeps best in the refrigerator separate from the pasta; otherwise, the pasta will suck all the liquid out of the sauce and leave it paste-like. Reheat gently, adding a few spoonfuls of broth or almond milk as needed to loosen the sauce again.