Vegan With A Vengeance has a recipe for Fettuccine Alfreda. A friend of mine who also just got hold of this FABULOUS cookbook, saw the Fettuccine Alfreda and was very excited. He's not a Vegan, but he is lactose intolerant, so something as cheese-heavy as Alfredo sauce is essentially something he should eat only when he's really hankering to hang in the Emergency Room for a few hours.
Since the recipe calls for Nutritional Yeast and he was not excited by the idea of that ingredient, I thought I would try the recipe out so I could report back to him whether I thought it was worth a trip to his local health food store for a canister of Nutritional Yeast.
Going on the record right now: Josh, go get some Nutritional Yeast. Like Yesterday! Go. I love this stuff - it's so good! I put some into Italian dressing to give it a little hint of Parmesan and it really did.
So back to the Alfreda. I did not follow the recipe exactly only because I was out of some of the ingredients. This was a spur of the moment cooking choice, I was not in the mood to run to the corner for ingredients. I had nothing even close to the yellow mustard the recipe asked for and my 'medium' onion was more like a very small, very frightened itty-bitty onion that did not want to participate in class. But I went for it anyway. Figured I'd get the basic flavors of the Alfreda sauce and see how it went from there.
You're supposed to sauté the onions and garlic and put them in the blender first, then add everything else. Silly me. I got ahead of myself and toasted the pine nuts first, and put them in the blender. I didn't think this was a huge deal - blender. Blending. What's the dif, who goes in first? And I wanted to use the same pan and save some dish washing. Well... I think it might make the blending process smoother if the onions and garlic went in first. That's all I'm saying.
I did not have fettuccine so I used what I had, tri-color whole wheat rotini.
When the pasta was almost done I tossed in some frozen haricot vert. Why? Because: Dee-lish! I love string beans. They only need a minute in the boiling water to defrost and cook through so why boil another pot? Just put 'em in with the pasta and they all finish at the same time. Easy Peasy.
Then I drained the whole thing, put some on a plate and poured the sauce on top. This entire process took less than 20 minutes - which I LOVE!
Did it taste exactly like traditional Alfredo sauce? No. But it might, if you have enough onion and you actually use the mustard... and you know... follow the recipe as it is written. I'm not sure if it should be as darkly colored as mine, but I don't think it matters. And even if it doesn't taste exactly like 'the real thing' it is absolutely YUMMY! There is a definite cheesy taste, and it is easily just as filling as old-school Alfredo. According to VWAV the recipe serves 4, but honestly it is sooooo filling I think it's more like 6 servings, possibly 8. I have close to a pint of this easy-to-make sauce in the fridge now and I'm looking forward to seeing how it holds up.
I can actually see this sauce as a nice choice mixed with cold noodles, sort of an Alfredo Pasta Salad. Yum!