Who Cares: It’s just an award winning mac and ‘cheese’ recipe

You saw it here first, everyone.
Unless you saw it on chow.com first, in which case I guess we can’t really say that.

WHO CARES VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE
This rich mac and cheese is great with steamed broccoli or some bbq tofu and dark sautéed greens. This is not really your everyday weeknight mac. I more imagine this dish at a potluck or a dinner party or when you just wanna impress the pants off someone.

Oh, it can totally be made a day ahead! Just combine sauces with the pasta and refrigerate (covered, of course). When you’re ready to eat, follow heating directions and sprinkle with bread crumbs before you serve!

Serves six.

INGREDIENTS

16 oz box of pasta, we use Cellentani
dash of paprika (to sprinkle on top)

CASHEW SAUCE


1 ⅓cup chopped Yukon gold potatoes, about one large potato
¼ cup chopped carrot, about one medium carrot
1 cup water
⅓ cup raw cashews
¼ cup raw pine nuts
⅓ cup margarine (we use Earth Balance brand)
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 ½ Tbs miso
2 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs lemon juice, about one juicy lemon
1 tsp salt
½ tsp Dijon mustard

CREAMY SAUCE


½ cup margarine
5 Tb flour
2 cups soymilk
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt

BREAD CRUMB TOPPING


Use a stale baguette if possible. You can also store any unseasoned breadcrumbs in the freezer in a sealed container. A food processor is best, but if (like us) you don’t have one, a blender will work.

½ sweet baguette
2 Tb margarine
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ tsp onion powder

METHOD


1. Start a large pot of salted water boiling and preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Peel and finely chop potato and carrot. Combine with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Cover and cook potato and carrots on medium-high heat until quite soft, about 10-12 minutes
3. Prepare your breadcrumbs by ripping ½ baguette into 1 inch chunks. Combine a handful of chunks with the margarine and pulse until crumbs are small.
4. Add the remaining bread chunks. Stir and blend until breadcrumbs are small. Add nutritional yeast and onion powder and pulse until combined. Set aside and rinse blender.
5. In blender combine the cashew and pine nuts. Pulse until the nuts are in small pieces but have not formed a paste.
6. Add the remaining cashew sauce ingredients to the blender, including the softened potato and carrots with the water they were cooked in. Mix with a spoon and then blend away until sauce is smooth and creamy.
7. Taste and adjust seasonings. At this point the sauce should be pretty intensely flavored, since it is going to be combined with the mellow, creamy sauce.
8. Set aside in blender.
9. Start toasting breadcrumbs in a thin layer on baking sheet covered in parchment or foil for 10-15 min. or until crisp and light gold. You may want to stir them a couple times to ensure even toasting. Set aside to sprinkle over baked mac and cheese.
10. While breadcrumbs are toasting start on the creamy sauce.
11. Melt the margarine in a saucepan on medium heat, and whisk in the flour
to make a roux.
12. Once the flour and margarine are thoroughly combined and not lumpy,
whisk in the nutritional yeast, salt and turmeric.
13. Slowly add the soymilk, stirring constantly and scraping the edges and
bottom of the pan to combine.
14. Continue to cook over low-medium heat for several minutes, continually
stirring, until the sauce thickens to a creamy consistency.
15. Combine sauces in blender and blend for 15-20 seconds.
16. Pour over pasta in baking dish and stir to evenly coat. Cover with foil and
bake for 25-30 min.
17. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and a dash paprika and black pepper once everything is out of the oven.
18. Enjoy with several of your closest friends!

Also, if you’re interested in this sort of thing, here are links to a few other posts about the event (so you can see all the crazy shit people made! truly intense):

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