Yeah, they’re everywhere: here here here here and here, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg (cheezeberg?) But I had to add my own interpretation! After having such success at cracking the Alfredo code, it seemed liked the next logical step.
Now for those of you unfamiliar with vegan mac, let me tell you a little secret: you can’t make ‘not-cheese’ actually taste like cheese. It’s just not gonna happen. So before you chow down you need to know what to expect. Mac ‘n cheeZe is a delicious, ooey-gooey comfort food casserole that’s *reminiscent* of mac ‘n cheeSe. It hits all the right nostalgic buttons – super rich and thick and creamy – and sooo much healthier than the real stuff (of course it’s kinder too!)
1 lb pasta of your choice
medium white onion
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon cooking wine (I used dry vermouth)
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (*must* be Yukon Golds!)
1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Earthbalance™
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 can coconut milk (my secret ingredient!)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to your taste level
1 teaspoon miso
dollop of Dijon mustard
1 cup bread crumbs, or more
Preheat oven to 350.
Chop the taters and place in a small pot, covering with water. Boil until tender, 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, cook pasta according to directions, but leave it a little al dente. While pasta and taters are cooking dice your onion. Place a pan over medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the onion until glassy, then reduce the heat to low and add the wine. Continue to cook until the wine reduces and the onion has browned (NOT burnt! be careful!) Drain the pasta while the onions cook down, and then set it aside.
Place all the ingredients, including the taters and onions, into a food processor or blender. BLEND!
Pour the blended sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. [There will be a lot of sauce and you probably won't need it all. That's okay! It stores well and is great as a chip dip, over baked potatoes, served with artichokes, etc] Transfer the saucy pasta to a casserole dish, add a bit more sauce depending on how ‘wet’ you like it, and cover with bread crumbs. Bake until browned, about 20-25 minutes.