Cashew cream

Cashew cream is more than just a dairy-free substitute for vegans. For me—a cheese-toting, egg-flipping, non-vegan, non-vegetarian—it’s a multipurpose workhorse, an ingredient that easily functions as a sauce, condiment, or dressing. This version is distinctly savory thanks to the addition of garlic and salt, and it’s a gateway to lots of quick and flavorful weeknight dishes.
Many cashew cream recipes call for long soaking times to soften the nuts and make them easier to blend. If you have the time, you can certainly soak your cashews overnight in the fridge. I, however, prefer to speed things up: Soaking cashews in just-boiled water breaks down their crunchy texture in 30 to 60 minutes.
Whip up this double batch and keep on hand for making a couple of weeknight dinners, such as Pasta Alfredo.
Cashew cream
Makes about 2 cups

2 cups raw cashews
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add cashews and let sit until tender, 30–60 minutes.

Drain cashews and transfer to a blender (preferably high-speed) or food processor. Add garlic, oil, salt, and 1 cup water and purée until smooth.

Do ahead: Cashew cream can be made 5 days ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and chill, or freeze in a resealable plastic freezer bag up to 3 months.

Cashew cream alfredo
If not using chicken, substitute 1 cup of cooked cauliflower florets 
or equal amount of left over cauliflower cheese
Makes 2 Servings
120g fettucine/spaghetti or pasta of your choice
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast optional (about 250g) or cauliflower (see note above)
1 teaspoon Flor de sal
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sunflower oil 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cashew cream
Finely grated Parmesan cheese (60g), plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
Season the chicken breast ( if using ) with olive oil salt and pepper and roast in the oven (220C) for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Slice the chicken and cover to keep warm. Transfer the chicken to a plate or clean cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the rest of the dish. 

Cook the pasta, drain, and reserve cooking water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Melt the butter and sauté the garlic, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Make the Alfredo sauce. Whisk in the cashew,cream, parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and  pepper. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out.
Add the drained pasta and toss to coat in the sauce. Add the drained fettuccine to the sauce and toss to coat. Divide the pasta among serving bowls and top with a few slices of chicken. Garnish with parsley, more Parmesan, and black pepper if desired.garnish with some minted garden peas or parsley


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