Sweet Potato Noodles with Vegan Lemon Cream Sauce

The Amalfi Coast is known for their delicious lemons. You’ll find the famous Pasta Limone dish on menus all along the coast. But the best recipe for this iconic dish is from Hotel Santa Caterina. Oh how I remember that romantic trip with my Ed. We both ordered this pasta and couldn’t even talk, it was so good — probably the best dish either of us had ever tasted. The Chef was kind enough to give me the recipe, so I’ve tried to recreate it at home time and time again, but sadly, I cannot duplicate it! Those Amalfi Coast lemons, cream, and tagliolini all taste different than what we can get in the states. It’s really true, location is everything!

Now that I’m vegan, I decided to make a version of this delicious recipe to bring back that wonderful taste memory.  Of course it won’t taste exactly the same, but I actually got pretty close! The sweet potato noodles with vegan lemon cream sauce is packed with lemony and creamy flavors, and the best part is it comes with all the healthy benefits that vegetables provide! We use Sweet Potato Vermicelli, cauliflower ‘cream’ and vegan parmesan. Another plus, (as if you needed one):  it’s oil free and very low in sodium!

Ingredients

  • 3 TB raw tahini
  • 5 TB filtered water
  • 1 TB packed grated lemon peel from one lemon
  • 6 TB fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 small head, Cauliflower, stem removed, separated into small florets
  • ½ cup Vegan Parmesan (recipe below)
  • 2/3rds package Sweet Potato Vermicelli  (4 of the 6 bundles of noodles)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese:

  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 2 TB nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder

Instructions

For the Cauliflower Cream:

  1. Place the florets in a steamer over 1 cup of water and steam until the cauliflower is completely soft. Turn off heat and cover and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Place steamed cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor and blend.  Add ½ cup of the steaming liquid, and continue to process.  Add more water if the “cream” is too thick.  If you add too much water, no problem, just put the cream in a dry pot over medium heat and cook until it thickens again.  The “cream” should be light and fluffy.

Make the Vegan Parmesan Cheese:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a small food processor and process until finely chopped. 
  2. This will make more than you need, but it keeps well refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks!

Make the Cream Sauce:

  1.  Pour 3 TB tahini and 5 TB of water in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally..  
  2. Whisk in ½ -¾ cup cauliflower “cream” and ½ cup parmesan cheese.  Bring to a simmer, adding more “cream” if needed for a creamier sauce. Remove from heat.  Add more water if noodles become too dry.
  3. Cook noodles according to directions on the package, then add the drained noodles to the sauce in the pan.  Stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. Toss in the parsley and finish with black pepper,
  5. Serve immediately.  The longer the sauced pasta sits, the more the noodles absorb it and it becomes dry.

Notes:

  1. Sauce can be made in advance, and rewarmed in a wide saucepan.  Just add more water and leftover cauliflower whipped cream, if needed.
  2. Vegan Parmesan Cheese can be made in advance

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