Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cashew Fettucini Alfredo

I've saved this recipe up as one of the most brilliant and amazing things I've ever created in my kitchen and I decided that I'm ready to finally share it.

No really, this is one of the craziest recipes I've ever seen and what makes it strange is that this fettucini alfredo recipe is healthy, easy and good for you.

If you love alfredo as I do but feel as if you're betraying your body with every bite of fat-laden goodness then this is your lucky day.

Regular alfredo recipes use butter and cream then reduces the sauce to thicken but this . . . THIS version has got a secret ingredient: cashews.

If you puree the cashews and add plain old water to create a runny mixture then heat it on the stove top it thickens just as if you were using flour or cornstarch or some other less-healthy invention. While there still is fat in the recipe, the overall fat is reduced and then instead of using the unhealthy saturated fats found found in butter and cream you get the healthy monosaturated fats found in nuts.

So how does it taste? Terrific! The key is to making sure you blend the nuts enough to make a smooth texture. You want to pulse and pulse and grind until you get a butter-like consistency and then add the water a little at a time.

It tastes slightly different than regular alfredo but not unpleasantly so--more nutty and roasted as you'd expect which blends well with the Parmesan. The kids call it fettutroni--rather than fettucini. I'm not sure why, that was just their quirkiness coming out but the name has stuck. Fettutroni it is.

1 cup cashew pieces
2 1/2 cups warm water
olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
18 ounces linguini
chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

In a food processor pulse the cashews until they form a paste then add a bit of the water and continue to process until you've got a smooth texture (or as close as you can get to smooth).

Set aside, then in a saucepan heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil and saute the minced garlic until it's beginning to brown slightly. Add the cashew/water mixture, stirring and scraping as it heats, until it begins to boil and thicken. Once thickened, removed from heat and stir in the salt, pepper and Parmesan, stirring until melted.

Boil the linguini and drain then add to the cashew mixture and stir to coat the noodles. Serve with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

***

And speaking of glorious fat. Have I mentioned that I totally love hot dogs? I know, I know. It's not something that one confesses in polite company but seriously I love them. Especially sliced up in macaroni and cheese. White trash through and through but oh how I love it.

Anyway, Oscar Mayer is doing something wonderful and giving away a million packages of hot dogs just in time for summer so if you'd like your free package go to Oscar Mayer's website and fill out the form. Yippeeee!

Sponsored by Beau-Coup for unique baby shower favors.

20 comments:

One Mom said...

This is a fantastic recipe! Anything Alfredo was hy husband's favorite pre-heart attack. He will be so excited to have an Alfredo again!

Robin said...

Oh wow oh wow oh wow! I've given up my verymostfavoritefoodintheworld pasta in cream sauce since I've been on a diet/health kick, and I'm in serious withdrawal. I cannot wait to make this!

Do you use roasted or raw cashews?

Lucy said...

You kidding? It's got cashews. It HAS to be good! When I was in California last week we went into a quaint little pizza shop in Riverside. I ordered two slices of the Hawaiian kind....ham and pineapple. He said they could do it, but they do it differently by adding cashews. Well, that could only make it much better. And it was good. Very good, indeed.

Peruby said...

Oh, man! I am with you on the hot dogs. I love them!

Ria said...

Yum!! Looking forward to making this. I love pasta!! I checked the Oscar Meyer website and sadly, the last day for giving out coupons for free hotdogs was on May 20. :-(

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

YUMMY!! You said the magic word for me - cashews. They are my all time downfall, I absolutely love them! Now I'm obligated to try it (LOL).

Anonymous said...

I will have to try this one. The making the cashews into a paste makes the difference here as hubby hates nuts in his dishes ONLY because they are crunchy and hard to chew and then the nuts will get soft if they are in the dish too long for him!

Madeline said...

Brilliant!! That sounds so good. My mom is trying to cut back on dairy and meat products for her health, so this one would be awesome to try out on her and my dad.

Chele said...

Yummy! Sounds awesome. I am going to try that! I am trying to eat healthier lately and this I can have and not feel guilty! Oh and by the way, our family's favorite meal is mac and cheese with hot dogs too!! Yep white trash and proud of it! LOL! Have a wonderful weekend!

Fawn said...

Ohhhh, Michelle! Are you SERIOUS?! I love you forever! Do you know that for Jade's diet I can't use cornstarch or flour as a sauce thickener because they have way too much carb. But I COULD incorporate cashews for sure. That's BRILLIANT!

And the hot dogs in Kraft Dinner? Hee hee hee -- we did that for lunch last week.

Anji Gallanos said...

this sounds so yummy. I just bought the jumbo tub of cashews at Costco too..so this will help. I am off breads and pasta..so wondering how it will taste with maybe spaghetti squash..we'll see

Neas Nuttiness said...

I didn't think it was possible to make Alfredo any better...but cashews...OMGosh - I can't wait to try this!

Suzi Dow said...

I'm with you guys - this is a must try. Isn't a hot dog by another named called "tube steak"? My ancient Betty Crocker cookbook has two recipes perfect for tube steak. Under Main Dishes - Macaroni are Macaroni Saute and Monday Macaroni (my favorite). Talk about dollar stretching recipes and great for camping.

Flea said...

That sounds fabulous! And I love hot dogs. Thank you. :)

Micha said...

This does look tasty...

And yes, I too love hot dogs in macaroni & cheese but to glam it up a bit I add a tablespoon of ranch and some fresh ground pepper. Gourmet white trash!

An Ordinary Mom said...

I can't wait to try this recipe ... and I love hotdogs on the BBQ. Yum!

Mirien said...

I've got to try this--I wouldn't have believed it would work, but your endorsement convinced me. I've experimented using chicken broth, light cream cheese, and Parmesan, and that makes a pretty good mock alfredo, but I never would have thought of cashews. However, when it comes to hot dogs you and I part ways. You can have my share.

Chris said...

Got great reviews when I made this...within the 2 1/2 c. of liquid, I added a very small amount of half and half, tbl. of butter, and some sherry...also a little more garlic! It was great!

mcmilker said...

Yummy,

I completely forgot about Fettuccine Alfredo (my list of possible meals has been declining in recent months.) I'll try this version this week!

Mirien said...

I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it--all eight of us--and you know how rare that is. I couldn't believe how delicious this is and how simple it is to make. I can't thank you enough for posting this recipe--it's going into the permanent file!