My brother in law is a hilarious man; he can make me laugh until I think my sides will break. I still remember the first time I tasted it. Curled up on the couch with my sister in their tiny apartment as he served his signature dish, spicy sausage and Alfredo sauce with angel hair pasta. It was so bad for me I could imagine arteries clogging with each bite, but oh was it good! Through the years he and my sister have made this time and time again.The thought of it takes me to warm summer nights during college break or cozy winter evenings waiting for arrival of family to start the holidays. I can think about it and smell the smells of their house and hear him in the kitchen telling us more jokes.
The thought of cutting meat from my diet made me want to cry for the fact that I couldn't have this meal again, much less cutting out dairy too! And so, one of my first endeavors for vegan
cooking was re-creating this dish (quite the undertaking since it was laden with animal products). I discovered cashew cream one day and the rest is history. Join me for this stroll down memory lane, a glimpse into my family, and a meal that stays a favorite.
Home (Eric's Pasta)
The Sauce - Ingredients2/3 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Zatarain's Original Creole Seasoning
Cracked black pepper
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
DirectionsCombine all ingredients in a blender. Let sit for 1 hour and then blend 3-5 minutes or until smooth.
The Rest - Ingredients
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 package Field Roast Italian Sausage, diced
8 oz. angel hair pasta (or spaghetti, or any pasta you have on hand)
1/2 cup water reserved from boiling pasta water
OPTIONAL: 1 head broccoli chopped into bite size florets ... the broccoli is great to mix in or serve on the side. The broccoli was not part of the original recipe, but something I took creative liberties on. If you aren't a fan of meat replacer just ditch the sausage (it doesn't really need it) and instead mix in the broccoli and maybe some mushrooms, too!
Directions Turn your pasta water on to boil. Once water is boiling simply follow directions for preparation. Before draining the pasta you will want to reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid and set aside. In a large pan add olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add in sausage and cook until browning, stirring occasionally to brown the sausage evenly on all sides. I tend to like the sausage dark brown, but you can heat to your desired crispy-ness. While the sausage is browning you will want to start steaming your broccoli. Once broccoli is steamed and sausage browned, you will combine the broccoli, sauce from blender, reserved 1/2 cup pasta water, and drained pasta into the pan with the sausage; stir to combine and serve.
*NOTE: This is a spicy dish. If you aren't a fan of spicy foods simply eliminate the Zatarain's seasoning and replace with salt to taste. It still makes for a great creamy pasta!