Creamy Vegan Pine Nut Cheese Pasta infused with Green Tea

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Did you know that pine nuts are actually taken from pine cones? Well, thanks to Chef Jason Wyrick, I not only know this, but I also have a delicious new way to turn those little nuts into a rich and cheesy dish. The creamy vegan pine nut cheese in this recipe is blended with roasted green tea and fresh chives for delicious depth in flavor.

According to Chef Jason, there are a few secrets to this recipe.

Soaking the pine nuts in tea softens them, which helps create a smoother cheese alternative. I used roasted green tea in this recipe to give the pine nut cheese alternative a subtle, deep flavor. The tofu is used because it binds the other ingredients and provides the texture of a spread. This makes it easy to mix into the pasta.

This pasta pairs very well with salad that’s dressed in light and fruity vinaigrette.

Creamy Vegan Pine Nut Cheese Pasta Recipe Infused with Green Tea - dairy-free and optionally gluten-free

Special Diet Notes: Vegan Pine Nut Cheese Pasta

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Creamy Vegan Pine Nut Cheese Pasta infused with Green Tea
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I could eat this vegan pine nut cheese all by itself, but it really shines on pasta. You can also omit the pasta step and serve it as a spread with crackers at your next party. (Please note that the Prep time is hands on time only. Allow 50 minutes for soaking and resting of the cheese alternative.)
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup freshly brewed roasted green tea (hojicha tea)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 4 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, plus additional for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups dry pasta, like bowties (use gluten-free, if needed)
  • Fresh black pepper or chives, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Soak the pine nuts in the tea for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the pine nuts and tea into your blender and puree into a smooth pine nut paste.
  3. Add the tofu, chives, salt, and white pepper. Blend until you have a thick “cheese,” with the consistency of a thick spread.
  4. Let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Boil the pasta until it is barely al dente. Drain the pasta and plate it.
  6. Place a mound of the herbed “cheese” on each plate of pasta. Garnish the pasta with freshly ground black pepper or chives, if desired.
Notes
Low-fat, Nut-Free Version: Omit the pine nuts and reduce the green tea to ¼ cup.

Speedier Version: You can cheat on this recipe and simply blend everything together without letting the pine nuts soak in the tea and without letting the “cheese” sit. If you boil the pasta while you are blending the cheese alternative, the entire dish will be ready in ten minutes. The flavors won’t be as blended and the “cheese” won’t be as smooth, but it’s much faster this way. Just use half the amount of roasted green tea (1/4 cup) or else the “cheese” will be too wet.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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