Penne Pasta with Sweet Potato Alfredo (v+gf)


It's incredible this sauce is made entirely from vegetables, cashews, herbs, and a little bit of water. I think it's fair to say it's much healthier than your average alfredo sauce full of butter and cheese.  The original recipe is from Love & Lemons, on her list of favorite fall recipes . . . And when bloggers list their favorites, I generally give 'em a try.  

The flavor is much more subtle than I expected.   With sweet potatoes, I gear up for an exceptionally sweet flavor, but it really tastes more creamy than sweet.  For that, I recommended a large sweet potato vs. a medium one.  I also added some steamed broccoli (as you can see in photos) to my dish for some extra veggie love :D.



WHAT YOU NEED

INGREDIENTS

Alfredo

  • sweet potatoes
  • shallots
  • garlic cloves
  • cashews, soaked overnight
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • tomato paste
  • rosemary
  • water

Pasta

  • brown rice penne pasta

Garnish

  • pine nuts
  • chives
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil 
  • *Optional: parmesan (for non-vegans)

PRINTABLE RECIPE



RECIPE

Penne Pasta with Sweet Potato Alfredo (v+gf)

ENTREE or SIDE

VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, SOY FREE, CORN FREE

serves: 4
active time: 15 min.
total time: 45 min.

PRINT OR DOWNLOAD RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Potato Alfredo

  • 1 large or two small sweet potatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water (more or less - thin to your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • salt & pepper

Penne Pasta

  • 1 lb brown rice penne pasta (I use THIS ONE and buy it in bulk at Costco)

Garnish with:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil 
  • *Optional: parmesan (for non-vegans)

INSTRUCTIONS

PREP

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and cube.  Peel shallots and cut in half.  
  2. Vegetable Prep Bowl: Combine sweet potatoes, garlic (in paper still), shallots.  Toss with one tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Mix in prep bowl and set aside.
  3. Sauce Prep Bowl: Combine soaked cashews, (remaining 2 Tablespoons) olive oil, balsamic, tomato paste, rosemary, and a few pinches of salt and pepper in prep bowl and set aside.

COOK

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roast vegetables from vegetable prep bowl about 30 min or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the shallots are browning.  (Remove the garlic after first 15 minutes and peel.)
  3. Cook your pasta until al dente, reserving some of the starchy pasta water.
  4. Combine roasted vegetables and items from sauce prep bowl into a high speed blender or food processor.  Puree, adding water as needed to get the blade moving. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Place puree in a small pot, over medium heat.  Add pasta water as needed to loosen.
  6. When ready to serve, toss pasta in (thinned) sweet potato alfredo sauce.
  7. Garnish with chopped chives, toasted pine nuts, salt & pepper to taste, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil.  If you're a non-vegan, parmesan would make an excellent topping too! ;) 

MAKE AHEAD TIP

Make sauce ahead of time.  When ready to eat:

  1. boil pasta
  2. Mix sauce with some pasta water.
  3. Toss, garnish, and serve! 

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Coreen Murphy

RECIPE INSPIRATION: Love & Lemons