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Vegan Mac n' Cheese


Many of you have inquired about making our Vegan Mac n' Cheese at home. Don't worry, we gotchoo! Below, please find a to-the-point recipe for making this dish in your own kitchen. It takes some time and love, but we would never want to starve our happy friendly vegan friends who live outside of our delivery areas. This recipe uses an excellent restaurant tip that many home cooks don't benefit from: reserved cooking liquid. One of the many reasons pasta tastes so good in a restaurant is because they often use the same cooking liquid to shock batches of pasta. The liquid gets über-flavorful and creates a starchy broth that helps coat and flavor the pasta. It's genius! If you've made this recipe and have any comments, we'd love to hear them. Thanks and enjoy :)


Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash (1100g./39 oz.)

1 head cauliflower, base of stem removed (975 g./approx 34.5 oz.)

10 oz. medium-sized pasta shells

1 large shallot, minced (2 oz.)

6 cloves garlic

1 cup steamed broccoli or steamed veggie of your choice (115 g./4 oz.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt* + more

1/4 teaspoon black pepper + more to taste

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Coleman's mustard powder

1/2 cup Oatly oat milk (or vegan milk of choice)

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (115 g./4 oz.)

2 tablespoons good olive oil


*Please use kosher salt for this recipe. Table and sea salt have a different flavor.

Recipe

1. Fill one large pot up with cold water. Add the whole butternut squash to this pot. Fill another large pot up with 4 cups cold water and add enough salt so that the water tastes briny, approximately 1/8 cup. Add the whole head of cauliflower to salted pot. ABring both pots up to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cook covered (as best as possible) for 45 minutes. Depending on the size of your pots, you may have to turn butternut squash over halfway through cooking time to ensure even cooking.


2. Remove cauliflower with tongs and set aside to cool. Save the cooking water from the cauliflower pot! If any bits of cauliflower remain in the water, scoop out with a slotted spoon. Bring water in pot back up to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8 minutes until very al dente. Remove pasta from water with a slotted spoon. Save the cooking water from pasta! I really like this tool for this task (no I'm not being paid to say that.)

3. Add garlic cloves to the pot of reserved cooking water. With heat off, put cover on pot and let garlic poach (a minimum of 20 minutes) while you continue with the rest of the recipe.


4. Remove butternut squash from water and set aside to cool. Discard cooking water and return pot back to stove. On medium heat, sauté shallots in 1 tablespoon olive oil until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. While cooking, season shallots with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake (depending on how spicy you like things.) You do not want color on the shallots, so if they begin to brown at all, turn heat down.

5. Once butternut squash is cool enough to handle, cut off ends and peel skin off with a spoon. Cut peeled squash up into 3-inch-large chunks. No need to be delicate with this step, it's going to get blended. At this point, the garlic cloves should be fork tender. Preheat oven to 375 °F.


6. You should have a yield of 3 cups of reserved cooking liquid from the cauliflower/pasta/garlic. In several batches, blend the chunks of squash, chunks of cauliflower, shallots, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, mustard powder, milk, and cooking liquid until you get a well-blended, homogenous sauce. It doesn't matter what order you blend everything in, just make sure you have enough liquid to move everything around in the blender. Add all blended batches in a large vessel and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary. You will have extra sauce from this recipe. Save for later in your freezer! When ready to use, thaw in fridge and use as a base for soup, for this recipe, or for anything you can imagine/

7. Sauté the panko in 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden brown. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta shells, 4 1/2 cups sauce, and 1 cup steamed broccoli. In an 8x8 pan add well-coated pasta shells. Top with toasted panko. Bake for 30-35 until toasty and delicious. Enjoy!






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