When Mama Shiu made Alfredo with pasta for dinner, it was always a treat for my family. She would add tons of parmesan cheese and throw in some shrimp and scallops when she wanted to get real fancy. Usually very heavy, creamy, and rich, the word “healthy” isn’t usually associated with Alfredo sauce…But what if it could be? This week I will be reviewing the NONA Alfredo sauce for anyone out there on the look out for a vegan alternative to this Italian comfort food.
I knew about the NONA brand of sauces for a while now, they take up a small section of the Nature’s Emporium grocery store by my house. Every time I made a trip to the store, I would have my eye on the Alfredo sauce by NONA, but I never bothered to buy it. The NONA sauces run around $6 Canadian for a 250 ml jar, so I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. However this time around, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try, I knew I could use this for a blog posts and here we are!
On the package it says that you can use these as dips as well, but for the sake of today’s blog post, I wanted to use this to make penne Alfredo. The jar doesn’t say how much sauce to use exactly so I kind of had to eyeball it. After my penne pasta was done cooking (make sure to reserve some pasta water), I added in a handful of cooked broccoli florets and about 2 tablespoons of the Alfredo sauce. I made a large portion of pasta so I would say add in a about a tablespoon of the sauce at a time till the pasta is coated with a decent amount of sauce. It’s really important to reserve some pasta water because the sauce was really thick. Adding in the starchy water will help loosen up the sauce and coat the pasta evenly. As the sauce hit the heat, I got a waft of garlic, which got me excited to give it a try. After everything was well coated, I took the pasta off the heat and served. After my first bite I felt like something was missing…Cheese. Now this is vegan so I knew I wasn’t going to get that exact same cheesy flavour like a normal Alfredo sauce, but I was determined to find a solution. Luckily for me I had some of the Go Veggie parmesan cheese on hand so I added a teaspoon of that to amp up the cheesy taste. If you don’t have a parmesan alternative, nutritional yeast is also great to use. I was surprised to see that there was no nutritional yeast when I read the ingredients, usually it’s used when creating the cheesy flavour in a dish. Once the “cheese” was added, everything came together. The sauce is super creamy from the cashews and you can really taste the garlic and herbs. I was pleasantly surprised, and after I was finished my meal I didn’t feel bloated or stuffed like I usually did when eating a rich dish like penne Alfredo.
Yes, this sauce is expensive so I am in no rush to run to the store and buy more of these. However, if you are looking to treat yourself to something creamy and comforting this is something to look into! I like the fact that these sauces are versatile and can be used in a number of ways. I am looking to try doing a potato bake with this, almost like a gratin. Even dipping in carrot and celery sticks as a snack is something to try!
Have you tried the NONA sauces before? I would love to hear what you have to say about them. Comment down below or tweet me telling me what you think about these sauces! Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!