Vegan Vodka Sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 2-3 small shallots or 1 small white onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 4.5 oz tube tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1 cup cashew cream recipe follows
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan shreds see notes
- 1 lb pasta of choice see notes
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil to garnish
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked 4+ hours or boiled 10 minutes
- 1 cup water
Prepare the Cashew Cream
- Drain soaked cashews. Blend with 1 cup water until completely smooth. Set aside.
Vegan Vodka Sauce
- Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. I usually prepare only 3/4 package of pasta because I like mine extra saucy, but you can prepare the whole 1 lb package and just add as much pasta to the sauce as you like. You can work on the sauce while the pasta cooks. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water when the pasta is done.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil or vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes (if using) along with the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. We don’t want to brown them.
- Add in the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions and garlic. Keep cooking this mixture, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. We want to cook off the raw flavor of the tomato paste and slightly caramelize it. You’ll know it’s ready when it goes from a bright red color to a darker orange-red color.
- Deglaze the pan with the vodka. Stir to combine, and to scrape off any tomato paste that might have started to stick to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing liquid to cook off until it has reduced by about half.
- Stir in the cashew cream and vegan parmesan. Reduce the heat to medium-low if the sauce is bubbling vigorously.
- Add in the al dente pasta along with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and stir to coat. We will be finishing the cooking process for the pasta in the sauce, so keep cooking and stirring occasionally for another 2-3 minutes. The starch in the cooking water will thicken the sauce. If you feel it needs to be thinned out more, feel free to stir in additional pasta water a few tablespoons at a time, until you achieve the consistency you prefer.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the pasta alla vodka with fresh chopped basil and, if you like, sprinkle on some extra vegan parmesan. Enjoy.
-1 cup Silk Dairy Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative
-1/2 cup coconut cream (scooped off the top of a refrigerated can of full-fat coconut milk) + 1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup vegan sour cream + 1/2 cup water Vegan parmesan: My favorite options available in the states are:
-Follow Your Heart shreds, which come in a tub. It’s usually located with the tofu and other vegan specialty ingredients at grocery stores. I’m able to find it at my local Kroger, Whole Foods, and Sprouts.
-Violife Parmesan, which comes in a wedge that you can grate yourself. Violife is easily found at Whole Foods and can also be found at some other grocery stores depending on location. Recommended pasta shapes: Penne and rigatoni are two classic choices for this recipe. However, feel free to use any pasta you like. I tend to favor shapes such as radiatore, fusilli or rotini, because they have lots of grooves that hold onto the sauce.