That's right, I called it the best ever!
Everyone thinks they make or know of the best mac n cheese, don't they? But really, this is the best one EVER :) Haha!
Lot's and lot's of trial and error yielded this final product. I've been meaning to type it all out and post it for awhile, but never got around to it. Then, I just recently found it in an e-mail I sent to a friend, so finally here it is.
I've made this many times for veg*ns, carnivores and everyone in between. It's always a hit! This mac freezes very well, so you can make extra and then have it when you want it. I don't make it that often for myself, because pasta and I aren't friends, but when I do have some, I get my fill!
You can even add different things to put your own spin on it. One of my favorite variations is to add sundried tomatoes and spinach.
About 4 meal size servings or 6 as a side dish
16oz of macaroni or penne pasta (I usually use penne. The little tubes holds sauce well and I like the texture)
1c cashews (grind to powder first, unless you're using a high speed blender like vita mix)
1c veggie broth
1/2 a roasted red pepper
2tbl lemon juice
3tbl nutritional yeast
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
1tsp smoked paprika
1/3c canola oil
salt and pepper to taste (I use lot's of black pepper)
about 1/2c pasta cooking liquid
Cook pasta in salted water until just under done. Drain pasta, but do not rinse. Reserve 1/2c of the cooking liquid and set pasta aside.
In a blender add veggie broth, cashews, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and cayenne. Blend until smooth and then slowly drizzle in the oil. Add s and p to taste.
Topping for baking:
bread crumbs (I use whole wheat baguette or rolls and bake until crisp)
1 small clove garlic
1tbl olive oil
Put bread, garlic, salt and oil in food processor and mix until well combined.
Putting it together:
Combine pasta and sauce. If pasta is too dry, add reserved cooking liquid as needed. Pour into oiled baking dish. Top with bread crumb mixture and bake at 450 until browned. I like my top really crunchy, so I brown it under the broiler for a minute right before I remove it from the oven. Keep an eye on it, the broiler can go from brown to burnt quickly!
Before going in the oven
All brown and delicious
Stove top version:
Make sauce as directed above. Put sauce and pasta into pot and stir on simmer until well combined and desired consistency is achieved. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed.
Make this for your family tonight and they will love you forever!