Raw Cashew Alfredo Recipe
April 10, 2009

pasta-close-up1

Morning, all! I hope you had a good evening. After a long day at work, I had the good fortune to share dinner with my friend Cassie last night.

I’ve met lots of fantastic people in my raw/vegan journey, and Cassie is one of the most special. As soon as I met Cassie, I knew we’d be fast friends: she’s smart and direct, but also tremendously passionate about sharing her veganism with others. In the last few years, she’s been able to help her boyfriend and her brother journey into a vegan diet with her, and she has given me a lot of support along the way.

For our dinner menu, I chose a tried and true recipe: raw zucchini alfredo. There are many variations of this delectable dish floating around on the internet. Melissa made me a fantastic version of the recipe (entitled “Pasta Primavera,” and online at the Sunny Raw Kitchen) recently, and we were both blown away. I’ve made the cashew sauce since, for dinner parties and friends, and it’s always a hit. So I decided to use that recipe as a template.

To make this dish, it’s super helpful to have a spiralizer. This magical little kitchen tool lets you turn zucchinis, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, jicama, and more into thin, pasta-like strands. You can use the spiralized veggies as a pasta base with any kind of sauce: raw or regular tomato sauce, pesto, or the alfredo I used last night. I recommend a spiralizer because it’s cheap and fun to use, but if you don’t have one, fear not: slicing the zucchini thinly with a peeler or even grating it will be just fine, too.

Here’s the modified recipe:

Raw Zucchini Alfredo with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes

For the pasta:

Spiralized zucchini noodles (or just use a peeler)
Small chopped carrot
Sugar snap peas, cut in half (about 3/4 cup)
Baby tomatoes, halved (I used lots)
Fresh shredded basil
A small handful of chopped, sun-dried tomatoes

For the sauce:

1 ¼ cup cashews, soaked for a few hours (I just put them under water when I left for work in the morning)
¾ cup water
1 tsp agave
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp miso

Begin by turning the zucchini into pasta and tossing it with the veggies. To make the sauce, put the soaked cashews in your Vita-Mix or food processor along with the agave, lemon juice, sea salt, miso, and 1/3 cup water. Blend until it looks thick and creamy. With the motor running (in either the processor or the Vita), drizzle more water in until the sauce is totally smooth (if you’re using a food processor, you’ll have to stop and scrape sides occasionally) and the consistency you want. Toss the sauce with the veggies, and voila: you’ve got a creamy, delicious bowl that (at least in my mind) surpasses the original dish. Here’s what mine looked like upon tossing:

pasta-close-up1

Alongside, we had a big salad of spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, tossed with a sweet balsamic dressing.

salad

Here’s the dinner table:

dinner-1

And my plate!

plate-1

Close up:

plate-2

The meal was totally terrific, we agreed. And it’s healthy, too: a great source of monounsaturated fats and magnesium (from the cashews), Vitamin C (the zucchini) and Vitamins A and K, calcium, and iron (the spinach).

Unlike other raw bloggers, I fear I won’t be sharing many desserts with you: I don’t tend to make them at home, if only because I live alone and never know what to do with a giant raw pie once I prepare it. But raw desserts are truly amazing (check out Heathy’s blog and drool), and I was in luck last night: Cassie very sweetly brought some for us to try. The first was a fluffy, rich, and sweet coconut cream pie, and the second was a rich, dense, and caramel-like version of Halvah. They were both amazing. Here’s the plate before we dug in:

dessert

In all, it was a great night. It’s often hard for me to make dinners for guests on work nights, but I prepped the sauce (ten minutes) on Wednesday night, so all I had to do before Cassie arrived was spiralize my zucchini (five minutes) and prep the veggies and salad (fifteen minutes). Who said raw dinners were tough?

Have a great Friday, all—I’ll be back soon.

xo

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    76 Comments
  1. Sorry, this Raw Zucchini Alfredo with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes missed on all accounts. Couldn’t gag it down and ended up throwing it out as NO ONE in my house would eat it. Had to make a completely new dinner for the family (thanks, like I’m not busy enough already). What was left of the unused ingredients, I set out as a snack plate while I made a new dinner, and all of that disappeared. So, it wasn’t the ingredients, it’s the way it’s put together. Nasty. If I had been served this in a restaurant, I would have sent it back. If you like it, good for you.

  2. Thanks so much!!!! This recipe turned out delish, and its totally gonna impress my gal for new years!! Happy Nye!

  3. I made this for dinner tonight, and it was so delicious! I’ve made vegan alfredo sauces (non-raw) that call for tons of ingredients, but this was great and much simpler. I was also surprised at how filling it was! I added a drizzle of white truffle oil and freshly grated nutmeg, and it was great. Zucchini noodles are quickly becoming a favorite quick meal for me.

  4. Great recipe that I will be sure to share with my friends. The only thing I would change is the quantities for the sauce. When I made mine I had way too much leftover sauce. However, it was still a delicious dish! Thank you!

  5. Love this stuff!! So easy to make the noodles and it’s surprisingly filling.
    Just wish I always had cashews on hand as if I have nuts in the house they are usually gone pretty quickly from just eating apples and nuts.

  6. I’m anxious to find a consistency that my husband can stand.. he’s very specific. Anything to runny makes him gag and anything too sticky won’t suffice either.. but I love pasta and I’m NOT willing to give up finding a solution! Reading the reviews.. this one looks perfect. KUDOS!

    -Sunny
    ioLite Vaporizers

  7. Gena,

    My spiralizer arrived today, and the first thing I made with it was your zucchini alfredo–very good! My husband liked it too. I also made your cauliflower soup as an appetizer, but used purple cauliflower and it was really pretty as well as tasty. I’ve had to substitute apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice as I believe I’ve developed an allergy to citrus juices, unfortunately. Thanks for sharing your recipes and tips–it has really helped me relax about my degree of rawness!!–Barb

  8. Allow me to just say, this is AMAZING. I tried to make it once before in my food processor and it was REALLY GOOD.. but then I had my wisdom teeth out and a friend let me borrow a vitamix (I wish I could afford one)… and wow, AMAZING consistancy and taste.. I love this blog site, thank you for sharing 🙂

  9. I just started my new lifestyle of raw food diet. So far I like it but sometimes I miss the richness of eating flesh. So I am always looking for recipies. I am looking for a spiralizer and on doing so run into your website. I see you mention a meal of beet pasta with cashew altredo but I look in the recipe section and could not find it. I did see a ton of other delicious recipies. Can you share that recipe? I love beets and I am sure I will enjoy as much as you do. Thank you.

  10. I’ve been eating raw for a week, and I made the “pasta” dish tonight. My husband and I both LOVED it. It was delicious and had so much flavor. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  11. Is there a good substitute for Miso or can I ommit it? I don’t have that particular ingredient, but would LOVE to try your recipe!

  12. Gena,

    I think I’m going to try your raw alfredo this weekend for myself. (I doubt hubby will try it!) One quick question – Should I drain the cashews before I put them in the vitamix? And where do I find miso? I”ve looked for it but have no idea where to find it … Is it a powder?

    Thanks!

  13. Now that I’ve found your blog, I have to read it all. 🙂 I thought spiralizers were so expensive but now that I see it’s only $25, I’m gonna order one! I don’t like pasta because it makes me tired so this looks like a great alternative, thanks for posting your recipe!

    • Aw, thank you so much! I’ve been reading yours forever.

      Spiralizers are wonderful things! I def recommend one 🙂

  14. I made our alfredo tonight and it was delicious! I left out the miso (didn’t have any) but really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing!!

  15. I want some. 🙁 I can’t find raw nuts, and I don’t order a lot anymore. But at least it is pleasing to look at ;).

  16. Wow, this looks delish! I love cashews, zucchini, and spinach–so I’ll definitely be trying this recipe! 😉

    *smiles*
    Michele

    P.S. I’ve been perusing your site. I’m so glad I found it via Kath!

  17. Hey Gena,

    What a little gold mine of info your blog is!! I am SO glad you visit mine and SO glad you made me aware of your wonderful site……I will definitely be popping back here often for sure!!! Many thanks Gena, I am off now for further reading on your blog :0)
    Merci
    Loulou

  18. Hi Gina!

    I am so excited to share recipes! I’m a gal of simple tastes, but I will do my best to keep it interesting for you all.

    I LOVE raw ice cream and haven’t successfully made it at home, but I have a good friend who’s supposedly a whiz, and I’m going to ask her to give me a demo so that I can share on the blog.

    I definitely recommend slow detox! I ended up moving into being high raw much more quickly than I ever thought, and I was fine, but I do remember an intense period of detox. The good news is that, no matter how much “raw-er” you go, you WILL be cleansing and detoxing. So you will get the benefits. Just take it easy, adding in raw meals one at a time and staying hydrated. You can always come to me with questions, too 🙂

    Gena

  19. i’ve had a version of this pasta before and it was DELICIOUS!! i’m so excited for the recipes you’re going to post 😀 i’m definitely trying to make my diet more raw but am a little worried about the detox aspect and also because i teach aerobics every day… i figure if i do it slowly it will be easier??
    raw desserts have to be the best thing ever!!! do you make raw ice cream? it’s my favorite!
    next on the gadget list is a spiralizer…maybe i’ll order one right now 😀
    have a great night and a wonderful weekend!

  20. Ashley,

    Hi! Happy Friday. I’m guessing this would be terrific over gnocchi. I would pretty much love the sauce over ANYTHING. I took it to a non-raw dinner party two weeks ago, and people were eating it plain by the end of the night 🙂

    Laura,

    Can’t wait to hear how it turns out! Keep me posted.

    Lauren,

    I think red miso would work, though I used mellow white. You can also just use salt — that’s how the original recipe was.

    Heather,

    Boo! I’ll try to figure out what’s going on. Raw desserts are amazing.

    Emily,

    Hey there! I find that the zucchini is definitely thin and soft enough to eat immediately. If you use a grater, I think it would still be ok; the salt and acid in the sauce will soften the vegetable pretty much right away. Glad you like the dish too!

    Emily #2,

    Lovely blog! So happy you’re reading.

    Cinnamonquill,

    I promise I’ll do desserts! The blog will inspire me too. That IS the spiralizer I have. If I had a little more money, I would get this model, which makes thicker noodles: http://www.cookingtoys.com/spirooli-world-cuisine-vegetable-slicer.html. But I’m happy with mine.

    Gena

  21. wow. this looks amazing. i will definitely be trying it! i can’t wait for you to share more stories and recipes (desserts, please??). question, did you buy your “spiralizer” from amazon? i am just wondering if that is one you like, or if you were just linking for those of us who aren’t familiar with, spiralizers (the name kinda cracks me up). thanks!

  22. Your dinner looks fantastic, Gena.
    I don’t yet have a spiralizer, but have tried a version of the zucchini pasta by finely hand cutting them. I was really happy with how good I felt afterward too and my partner Andy also enjoyed the dish which was great – if not essential to my moving more and more in the direction of raw foods! I am tempted to try it again with your sauce stirred in. Question: Did you have to leave the zucchini for any time to soften up at all? Or does it naturally have that softer feel to it when using a spiralizer?
    Have a great day 🙂

  23. I believe you that it was delectible. I love how it really looks like pasta. And, I can attest to the deliciousness of raw desserts. I loved the chocolate macaroon that we got from Melissa from One Lucky Duck and the ice cream treats from Pure were delicioso!

    P.S. Still says Title Unknown, but it could be my reader.

  24. Yum! This looks great!! I don’t make many raw desserts either. Since it’s just my hubby and I, I don’t want the temptation left over! 🙂

  25. That dinner looks incredible! Even though I don’t currently eat a raw foods diet, I often look up raw recipes online, and I own a few un-cookbooks. A lot of the sauce recipes I come across have tons of ingredients, many of which are only available in specialty stores. I love that this recipe is unbelievably simple, and is made with ingredients I keep on hand all the time.

    I’m in the middle of a move right now, but as soon as I’m settled into my new kitchen, I’m going to make this. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  26. Wow, my mouth is watering over your excellent meal. My boyfriend and I were looking for something new and fun to make over the Easter weekend and I think I might try this. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Oh, i bet the miso made it even better. I agree that making the dinner was way faster than I ever expected.

    While i have a huge sweet tooth, I definitely think it is best to save fancy raw desserts for the experts (aka sarma and the pure food and wine crew)!

  28. Delicious dinner! I love that sauce and I bet it would have tasted wonderful on the gnocchi I made last night. I made the tofu alfredo sauce from the Candle Cafe cookbook, and the bf and I were not fans. Come to think of it, I do have some leftover gnocchi in the fridge…

    Happy Friday!

  29. Hi my sweet! Happy Friday! I’m a big fan of veggie pasta, too, and the possibilities are endless!! Hope you’re having a good one.