Vegan Primavera Mac and Cheese

Vegan Primavera Mac and Cheese

You’ll want to pour this rich cashew cheese sauce over everything from fresh veggies to tater tots. 

Serves: 4

Go for tricolor rotini in this lovely summery casserole from veteran cookbook author Robin Robertson’s newest cookbook, Vegan Mac and Cheese, to mirror the gorgeous colors of the fresh vegetables in the dish.

What you need:

For the sauce:
1 large Russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup unsalted raw cashews
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ ground black pepper

For the pasta and vegetables: 
16 ounces tricolor rotini
2 cups small broccoli florets
3 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
¼ cup roasted hulled sunflower seeds, for garnish
Handful small basil leaves, for garnish

What you do:

  1. For the sauce, in a medium pot, combine potato, carrot, garlic, and cashews with enough water to cover. Place pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of cooking water, drain, and transfer cooked vegetables and cashews to a blender, along with reserved cooking water.
  2. Into blender with vegetables, add remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. For the pasta, cook according to package directions until al dente. About 5 minutes before pasta is done, add broccoli to pot. Drain pasta and broccoli and return to pot.
  4. Place pot over low heat, add scallions, spinach, and cherry tomatoes, and toss to combine.
  5. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables and toss to combine, heating throughout. Transfer to a large serving dish, garnish with sunflower seeds and basil leaves, and serve.

Photo credit: Robin Robertson

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