With winter almost upon us, I’m ready to tuck into warm bowls of comfort food. So, bring on the mac ‘n cheese! Or, more appropriately in our case, bring on the cheesy cashew sauce and whatever-pasta-is-in-the-pantry! When I have time I love to make a baked mac and cheese using the cashew cheese from Color Me Vegan. However, when I want to pull together a quick meal for a weekday dinner (or weekend lunch) it’s time for a little improvising. After playing around with a cheesy sauce base from the Post Punk Kitchen, I finally have a delicious mac and cheese that can be made in the time it takes to boil the pasta!
Quick and Easy Pasta-with-Cheesy (Sauce)!
- 13 oz box of whole wheat pasta (rotini is my favorite for this meal)
- 2 cups of cashews or cashew pieces (the pieces are usually cheaper, and since your are blending them up, go for cheap!)
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 TB red miso (3 TB of white miso)
- 3 TB dried sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated (or 1/4 straight from the jar if they are the oil packed kind)
1) Soak the cashews in water. If you can start them soaking in cold water 2 hours before you make the sauce (or then night before) do that. Otherwise, boil some water and pour them over the cashews for 10-15 minutes before making the sauce.
2) Boil the water for pasta. While the water is boiling, get the garlic cloves peeled. This is also the time you can let the cashews sit in boiling water if you haven’t soaked them already.
3) When the water is boiling, pour the pasta in and then turn the heat down to medium. While the pasta is cooking, drain the cashews and put the rest of the ingredients (minus the sun-dried tomatoes) in a good blender (like a Vitamix or Ninja) or a food processor. Blend until creamy. If desired, add 1/2 of the sun-dried tomatoes and pulse to break them up a bit.
4) When the pasta is done, drain it, and then pour it back in the pot. Pour the sauce over. Depending on how much sauce you like, you might be able to reserve some for another round of pasta later. Or just go for it and make a yummy, super-saucy dish. Serve with a few sun-dried tomatoes on top!