Any Italian grandmother would be quick to tell you that not all pasta sauces are created equal! Bottled pasta sauces are processed and filled with preservatives, artificial flavors, and sugars. Plus many sauces are simply not easy to find already made vegan.
In this card, I'm going to teach you how to make veganized Alfredo, Bolognese, and Vodka sauces. Follow these recipes to make some vegan pasta sauces you can feel good about (and that even your pickiest family member will seriously love)!
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
MAKES 3 CUPS
4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 med/lg cloves)
1/2 cup unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1) Add cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 3 - 7 minutes until fork tender. Drain.
2) Meanwhile, add the oil into a skillet and saute the minced garlic over low heat for 4 - 5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned.
3) In a high speed blender, add the cooked and drained cauliflower, sauteed garlic, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until a super smooth sauce forms.
Cashew Vodka Sauce
(From Go Dairy Free)
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
2 lbs cherry, grape or mini tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided, plus additional to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves, whole, unpeeled (optional)
1 shallots, thinly sliced or minced (optional)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup vodka (or two 50 mL mini bottles)
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
3/4 to 1 cup cashew milk
4 large basil leaves, minced
1) Preheat your oven to 375F.
2) Place the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the garlic, if using, on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tomato skins have "popped" and are starting to brown in spots.
3) Let the tomatoes cool 10 minutes, then add tomatoes with juices to a blender. Squeeze garlic pulp, if using, into the blender and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth.
4) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots, if using, and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add red pepper and continue to saute 30 seconds.
5) Remove from heat, whisk in tomato puree and vodka. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
6) While the sauce simmers, grind the cashews in a spice grinder until powdered. Add the cashew flour, 3/4 cup cashew milk beverage, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to your blender, and whiz until smooth and creamy. If desired, strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining nut bits.
7) Cook pasta according to package directions.Whisk the cashew cream into the tomato sauce, and continue to simmer for a few minutes, or until thickened. Add more cashew milk beverage if the sauce thickens too much. Taste test, and sprinkle in more salt, to taste. Stir pasta into sauce. Serve topped with fresh basil.
Eggplant Bolognese Sauce
MAKES 6 SERVINGS
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 large ribs celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 bay leaves
1 pound button mushrooms, finely chopped
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons white or red miso paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes packed in juice, crushed roughly by hand or with a potato masher
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1) Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lay eggplant on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap loosely in foil and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until eggplant is completely softened, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2) While eggplant roasts, prepare sauce. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add sage, half of parsley, half of basil, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add red wine and bay leaves. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until wine is reduced nearly dry (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan easily), about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large saucepan and wipe out skillet.
3) Add remaining oil to skillet and set over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add button mushrooms and shiitake and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushroom liquid completely evaporates and mushrooms are well-browned all over, about 20 minutes. Add tomato paste and miso and stir to combine. Pastes will leave a light residue on the bottom of the pan. This is okay.
4) Add canned tomatoes and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add mixture to pot with vegetables and reduced wine. Add soy sauce and milk.
5) When eggplant is cooked, remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Slit skin of eggplant and scrape out softened flesh gently with a spoon. Chop eggplant flesh into a fine puree and add to pot with sauce. Stir sauce to combine, bring to a bare simmer, reduce heat to lowest setting, and cover with lid slightly ajar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is rich and thick and flavors have fully developed, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6) To serve, cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Add pasta and cooking liquid to mushroom sauce. Add remaining chopped parsley and basil (reserving a little for garnish, if desired). Cook over high heat, stirring, until sauce is rich and thick and coats every piece of pasta. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls, drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil, and serve immediately.