I tasted this dish in Rome for the first time in 2002 after endless wanderings in the city searching for a restaurant not for tourists only. Finally, when we were on the verge of passing out, we found a family restaurant in one of the alleys with a kind waiter who greeted us with a warm smile. We immediately felt at home.
We followed his recommendation and ordered spaghetti with cream and lemon sauce.
The combination of the flavors of the cream with lemon juice and zest stunned my palate, and to think that until then, I was fixated on tomato sauce!
I tried to recreate the wonder; It turned out delicious but not the same.
And now, 21 years later, when I’m less bound by “comme il faut” conventions, I veganized the dish.
I fried minced garlic for a few seconds and added oat milk; It turns out it has a creamy texture with much less fat and calories. Next, I added almond butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Since we live in the Middle East, I also added preserved lemon. Finally, I seasoned it with nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper and cooked it until I got a smooth sauce.
I sprinkled chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper, and toasted pine nuts, grated homemade vegan parmesan hearts, tasted, and – I was hooked!
We accompanied the dish with an excellent sauvignon blanc wine made in New Zealand that my guest brought. Then, the unbelievable happened: we gave up a divine dessert – not only because we were full, but mainly so that the taste of the pasta and wine would remain in our mouths for a long time.
Go make it, share the recipe and let me know how it turned out😋🌸❣
RECIPEVegan Creamy Lemon Sauce Spaghetti
- 250 gram spaghetti
- 2-3 Tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup oat milk coconut milk, or almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon almond butter
- lemon zest of one lemon
- 2-4 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice by taste
- ½-1 Tablespoon preserved lemon optional, add gradually by taste
- ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- salt, ground black pepper
- Chopped chives, roasted pine nuts, pistachios or roasted poppy seeds, more lemon zest, freshly ground black/red pepper, vegan parmesan
- Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large wok or skillet; Add garlic and fry for 2-3 seconds.
- Add oat milk and cook over medium-high heat, stirring for about a minute.
- Add almond butter and mix well; add lemon zest, gradually add, according to taste, lemon juice and preserved lemon, and mix well until you get a smooth sauce.
- Add nutritional yeast, season with salt and pepper, and mix, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cook for another minute or two while stirring; if necessary, add water until you get the desired consistency.
- Divide into pasta bowls, and sprinkle with chopped chives, freshly ground black/red pepper, pine nuts, pistachios, roasted poppy seeds, or grated lemon peel. Grate over vegan parmesan.
- Accompany the dish with white wine such as sauvignon blanc