Serves 4 to 6
Allergen Notes: Gluten-free with GF pasta, peanut-free, soy-free
You might find it hard to believe that with a blender and a few pantry ingredients you can create a luscious, plant-powered Alfredo-style fettuccine dinner, but it’s true! Canned artichoke hearts, white beans, and cashews blend beautifully to create a creamy-dreamy sauce you can use for pasta, spiralized vegetables, or even as a dip!
Beans and peas provide a hearty dose of protein and fiber. Cashews deliver healthy fat and important minerals. And canned artichoke hearts bring vitamin C and even more fiber to the party. Fiber is important for heart and digestive health but most people don’t get enough. Nutritional yeast is a magical ingredient, found in the baking or "healthy-eating" aisle in many grocery stores. It is simply dried, inactive yeast flakes that are often fortified with important B vitamins. Use nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavor–without the cheese. Sprinkle it on salads and popcorn or add it to soups and stews for added taste and nutrition. And it's a must-have when making plant-based cheese at home!
If you crave different textures, try tossing in chopped hearts of palm, the tender, inner stalks of young palm trees (grown and harvested for this purpose). Find them in the aisle with the canned vegetables. It's a simple but luxurious dish and I think you should make it, if not today, then soon.
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can or jar of artichoke hearts in brine, drained
½ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, then drained
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp teaspoon salt, taste before adding and adjust as desired
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound fettuccine or pasta of your choice
2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
1 (14.5) ounce can hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1. To make the sauce, empty the can of beans with liquid, artichokes, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the blender. Blend until velvety and smooth.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Add the peas during the last couple of minutes of cooking. When the pasta is done, drain, reserving about ½ cup of the cooking water. Return pasta to pot or transfer to a large bowl.
3. Gently mix in the hearts of palm.
4. Pour about two thirds of the sauce over the pasta and toss until everything is well-coated. Add the reserved pasta water to thin, if desired. If you like it saucy, add the remaining sauce or the store extra in the refrigerator for up to a week. The sauce can also be frozen for several months.
5. Garnish with more freshly ground black pepper on top.