For the Mac & Cheese
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 c vegan butter
- 1/4 c flour, (spelt recommended; for gluten-free, use gluten free flour)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- squeeze of lemon
- 1 c coconut milk
- 1/4 c nutritional yeast (not regular baking yeast)
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 to 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (to taste), plus a little more on top
- 8 -12 oz elbow pasta, (for gluten free use quinoa or brown rice)
- 1 to 1-2 cups pasta water, use a little at a time
- 1 c organic frozen peas
- sea salt & pepper
For the Crusty Topping
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (for gluten-free, use gluten free panko bread crumbs)
- 1/4 c chopped pine nuts
- pinch of cayenne & smoked paprika
- drizzle of olive oil on top before baking
- sea salt & pepper
- Heat butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions, a few pinches of salt, and simmer until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add flour and whisk to thicken. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes on medium-low.
- Add a good squeeze of lemon and stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add coconut milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, tomato paste, turmeric, paprika, and a few more pinches of salt. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta.
- Optional step – vitamix the sauce together to make the sauce really creamy.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. In a large bowl stir together the cooked pasta, some of the sauce, and peas. Stir in pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. You can stop here and serve this now if you like, or continue on to bake it.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place everything in a baking dish, add more pasta water and possibly more sauce. This will dry out a little while baking so make sure it’s really creamy first. Add the breadcrumbs, panko, a little more salt, cayenne, and paprika on top. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the crust starts to become golden brown. Serve with extra sauce.