Alex Guarnaschelli smiling
Alex Guarnaschelli's Go-To Ingredients For Non-Dairy Pasta Sauce

In an interview with Insider, chef Alex Guarnaschelli explained how you can make rich and tasty pasta sauces without dairy by adding some "chopped walnuts or a dollop of mustard."
Many creamy sauces and pestos rely on the rich flavor and oil present in nuts. One such sauce is walnut pasta sauce, which typically includes parmesan cheese.
To make walnut pasta sauce dairy-free, Guarnaschelli recommends adding a “splash of the pasta cooking water” to thicken it and a “dash of balsamic” to brighten the taste.
Guarnaschelli also said lemon can enhance pasta sauce. For a unique sauce, add a spoonful of water to garlic cloves cooked in olive oil, lemon zest, and ground-up toasted almonds.
Thanks to its starchy nature, pasta water is an essential element of dairy-free sauces since it acts as an adhesive to help the sauce stick to the pasta.