Thursday, May 1, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Mac & Cheese

We like having Mac & Cheese as a side, that way we don't overindulge!  We liked this Mac & Cheese recipe because the base of the "cheese" flavor is none other than …. cashews, which are packed with nutrients.

Roasted Red Pepper Mac & Cheese
Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

**recipe requires soaking cashews for at least 2 hours

2            teaspoons olive oil
1            small yellow onion, diced
1/2         teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
2            cloves garlic, minced
8            ounces elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)
3/4         cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
2            cups vegetable broth
1 1/2      tablespoon organic cornstarch
1            tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1            roasted red pepper
1            tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2      teaspoon pizza seasoning ***spices below
1            teaspoon dry mustard
1/2         teaspoon ground turmeric

Preheat a 2-quart sauce pot over medium heat and add the oil.  Saute the onions in the oil with a pinch of salt for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so, and then transfer to a blender or food processor.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, return to the pot and set aside.

Drain the cashews and add them to the blender along with the broth, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, red pepper, tomato paste, pizza seasoning, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, dry mustard, and turmeric.  Blend until very smooth.  This could take anywhere from 1-5 minutes depending on the strength of your blender.  Scrape down the sides every 30 seconds or so and test for smoothness.

Transfer the sauce in the blender back to the sauce pot in which you cooked the onions.  Turn the heat to medium and let cook, stirring very often, until thickened.  This should take 10-15 minutes.  Taste for salt.

Add the sauce to the pasta in the pot and use a large slotted spoon to mix well, taking care not to break the pasta.  Serve.

***Pizza seasoning: 
1/4            teaspoon fennel seeds or ground fennel
1/4            teaspoon dried oregano
1/2            teaspoon dried thyme

1/2            teaspoon granulated garlic

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