For a smooth and creamy Alfredo sauce, it is important to presoak the cashews so they become tender and softened. If you don’t have time to soak the cashews overnight, place them in a heat-resistant bowl, then fill the bowl with boiling water until the nuts are completely submerged and allow to soak for 30–40 minutes.
Cashew Alfredo Sauce (Makes 3 1/4 cups)
- 2 cups raw cashew pieces
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 pound fettuccine noodles
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the grill
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 bunches broccolini, trimmed and cut into 3-inch-long pieces
- Finely grates lemon zest, for garnish (preferably from unwaxed lemons)
- 1/2 cup homemade or high-quality store-bought croutons, lightly crushed, for garnish
- Micro greens, for garnish
- To make the cashew alfredo sauce: Place the cashews in a medium bowl. Fill the bowl with water, making sure the cashews are completely submerged. Soak the cashews overnight. Drain and rinse. Place the soaked cashews and the remaining ingredients for the Alfredo Sauce in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings with salt to taste.
- Preheat a gas or electric grill to medium-high and generously brush the cooking grate with oil.
- To make the fettuccine noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, then cook until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- While the pasta is boiling, make the broccolini. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tamari, mustard, tomato paste, garlic, and pepper. Adjust seasonings with salt to taste. Add the broccolini and toss until well combined. Remove the broccolini from the oil mixture and grill, covered, without flipping, until charred, about 8–12 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the broccolini to a platter and set aside.
- To assemble: Add 2 cups of the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat well, adding more sauce as desired. Top each mound of pasta with a few stalks of broccolini. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired, croutons, and micro greens. Serve at once.
Note: The Alfredo sauce makes more than you will need for this recipe. Serve the extra sauce over meatballs.