Hippie Lane’s Taline Gabriel has a little secret weapon when it comes to the ultimate no-cheese pasta sauce, and it’s going to fool even the toughest of critics.
The ingredient in question? Nutritional yeast.
“Believe it or not, creating a creamy cheese sauce can be as easy as a quick blend of some common vegetables, a few herbs and spices, cashews, plant-based milk and a generous addition of nutritional yeast,” says Taline.
“Nutritional yeast, also known as savoury yeast, has a naturally strong cheesy flavour, making it the perfect cheese substitute. In this recipe, it really helps lift the flavour of the vegetable-based sauce, and turns it into a cheese lover’s dream,” she adds.
“Toss through some gluten-free pasta, pan-fried thyme mushrooms and toasted pine nuts and you have yourself a winner.”
No-Cheese Creamy Pasta
2 medium-size potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1⁄2 onion, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup (75g) cashews (pre-soaked in hot water 30 mins)
Place potatoes and carrots in a medium saucepan with water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for approx 10 mins or until carrots and potatoes have softened and are cooked.
Strain and add vegetables to blender with onion, soaked and drained cashews, almond milk, water, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, paprika and pepper. – Blend on high till smooth and creamy. Add lemon juice (optional).
In a medium fry pan, heat butter and oil, then add mushrooms and toss to coat.
Continue cooking, moving mushrooms so that they cook evenly, until they start to Add salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
When you are ready to serve, lightly oil pasta with olive oil, pour over warm cheesy sauce, fold through mushrooms, top with pine nuts and enjoy.