“Shall I make us a little Christmas fettuccine?”
I love that line and scene from The Holiday. Kate Winslet’s whole character, really. I spent a summer watching that movie over and over, cheering her on and saying “NO! Forget Jasper! He’s the WORST! You can do better than that!” and trying to drum up some gumption. She’s the everygirl in so many ways. Sigh…
I watched the movie… I saw them eating fettuccini… and I NEEDED fettuccine.
Problem: no gluten or dairy. To say I was skeptical of a vegan alfredo sauce would only sort of begin to cover it. But after a few tests, I’ve been very much won over.
I really do think it was creamy and delicious. The cashews lend a bit of healthy fat and protein, and the cauliflower added to the creaminess. I was sure it would taste like cauliflower, but it really wasn’t an overpowering flavor! The garlic, lemon juice, and salt add a nice tang. and it’s so creamy.
Both my kids tried (and ate!) it. I served it on the side and let them dip their noodles in it. Milo ate his with a spoon and had seconds. Sophie tasted it and dipped her noodles in one at a time. Michael loved it and requested it again. We made it again this weekend and loved it all over again.
The sauce can be served over veggie noodles or over grilled chicken if you don’t do pasta, and tastes great with some roasted red peppers, a spoonful of pesto, or broccoli mixed in.
All that to say, if you need a little (gluten and dairy free) Christmas fettuccine… this is it. Eat it after the kids are in bed, by the light of your tree and The Holiday on. You’ll love it.
p.s. I do think a big old handful of Parmigiano Reggiano would be amazing, but it was flavorful and creamy without it too.
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 2-2½ cups water or chicken broth (if not vegan)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ cup cashews, soaked ahead of time
- 1½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste (the salt is pretty key here, so be a bit generous)
- Place the cauliflower and broth or water In a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower from the cooking liquid.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Transfer cauliflower, garlic, cashews, lemon juice, and 1½ cups of the cauliflower cooking liquid to a blender. Add plenty of salt and puree until very smooth. Add additional cooking liquid until you've reached your desired consistency. I like mine fairly thin so that it doesn't feel too heavy.
- Taste and add additional salt or pepper, to taste.
- Serve with 12-16oz of pasta