Creating and perfecting a macaroni and "cheese" recipe as a vegan is like earning a survival badge as a boyscout. It's completely necessary. Macaroni and cheese is my favorite dish, and this recipe happens to be named after me.
Not only is this recipe the most delicious Mac in the world, but it is also MUCH healthier for you than traditional Mac and Cheese, due to it's secret ingredient...but I'll let Pam tell you more about that! Take it Mom!
Drumroll please...the secret ingredient is BUTTERNUT SQUASH! The squash imparts a delightful color and taste to this dish, which could fool even the most persnickety eaters. You'll never miss the dairy!
Kate's Fave Mac and "Cheese"
1 lb. any short cut pasta (I prefer orecchiette or little ears because they capture those pesky peas)
1 c. frozen peas
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. margarine
3 Tbsp. flour
1 c. vegetable broth or stock
1 1/2 c. soy or other non-dairy milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Nutmeg, grated to taste
1 10 oz. box frozen butternut squash, defrosted
Few dashes of hot sauce (We love SRIRACHA)
1 c. vegan parm-like "cheese"
1 c. vegan cheddar "cheese"
Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1. Bring water to a boil, season with salt, and add pasta. 3 minutes before it reaches al dente, add the peas. Don't overcook!
2. Preheat broiler and place rack in middle of oven.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, saute onions and garlic until soft, then stir in sage. See picture above!
4. Scoot onion mixture off to side of pan and melt margarine in same pan. Whisk in flour and allow to cook for one minute. Whisk in stock/broth and soymilk, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
5.Stir in butternut squash and a few dashes of hot sauce. Reduce heat.
6. When sauce comes up to a bubble, stir in vegan parm-like "cheese."
7. Combine the sauce and pasta/peas.
8.Transfer to a casserole dish (If your pan isn't oven proof) and top with vegan cheddar "cheese", parsley, and paprika. Place the casserole under the broiler, 4-5 minutes, until slightly browned and bubbly.
9. Fight with KT in order to even get a little bit onto your plate.
Now go make your own batch while I finish this off...
Peace, Love, and "Cheese",
Pam and KT