Tender pasta is topped with creamy, silky-smooth dairy-free cauliflower sauce to make a delectable vegan mac and cheese. (This recipe requires a blender.)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. If using the optional shallot, add it and stir, cooking until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, turmeric, tomato paste, garlic, and salt. Stir and cook for about 45 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the almond milk, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir it in. Bring to a steady simmer.
Add the miso, cauliflower, and cashews to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and partially cover the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the mixture to your blender (working in batches if needed; I divide this in half to use in my Ninja) and blend until completely smooth. If you don't have a high-powered blender this may take a few minutes to break down the cashews. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside when done.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a pot of generously-salted water. Cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta (but do not rinse it), leaving it in the strainer.
Add the pureed cauliflower mac and cheese sauce to the pot, and turn the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, until gently simmering. Stir in the cooked pasta, the white vinegar, and a splash of the pasta water. Continue to cook until the sauce is slightly thickened onto the pasta. Add more of the pasta water to thin out the sauce as needed.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately. The leftovers from this vegan mac and cheese taste good, but it's definitely far better when fresh! I find that the leftovers just need a little additional salt and vinegar or hot sauce added because the pasta absorbs a little bit of the flavor when it sits.
SOY-FREE: Use chickpea miso.
GRAIN-FREE: Chickpea-based or lentil-based pastas are sometimes available in my area or online. If you use them, don't add any reserved pasta water to the sauce.
NUT-FREE or NO CASHEWS: This might work with sunflower seeds instead of the cashews. Use 1/2 cup. There will be a mild sunflower flavor. I have not yet tested this substitution. Use soy milk instead of the almond milk. If you don't need nut-free, macadamia nuts work instead of cashews too.
Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese originally printed from https://yupitsvegan.com/cauliflower-mac-and-cheese/ January 13, 2018