And wowww this is good comfort food. The textures! The tastes! The stick-to-your-ribs-ness, like a blanket for your stomach! (and maybe also for your soul) When I made it I was thinking of this dish called Turkey Tetrazzini that we used to make in my family when I was growing up (that photo on wikipedia is appalling!). Really, what I loved about it was the spaghetti around the top and the edges that baked long enough to get chewy. And here we have that as well!
I started with windy city vegan's recipe for Instant Mac n Cheese. This is a pretty brilliant recipe in its own right, from it being a mix you can make in a large batch and then save for later, to it making a rich creamy sauce without the crutch--I mean, aid--of tofu or vegan cheese (ew). Ok, so maybe arrowroot and nutritional yeast maybe aren't typical kitchen items, but they're one-ingredient ones, and you could easily make this recipe soy-free by skipping the soymilk.
I bought a 1.25 lb bag of arrowroot this weekend. That is so much thickening power.
So, I made a 1/4 batch of the mac n cheese mix, except I added cayenne, tweaked some of the measurements, and omitted the onion powder and green onions. I then sauteed some real onion in oil before adding the mix to it, along with some water and soymilk, until I had a sauce. Given the arrowroot, I wasn't sure what was the best temperature at which to do this, so I kept the pot over very low heat. The sauce still got pretty thick and hard to work with, but I added more liquid until it was okay. Then into the oven! A big, gelatinous wad of noodles might not sound (or look) too delicious, but it was the best thing I've had in weeks. Perfect for a freezing cold rainy evening.
It all got eaten so quickly that there was barely any left to photograph!
(adapted from Windy City Vegan)
3 servings whole wheat spaghetti or other pasta
3/4 c raw cashews, ground as finely as possible (I used a clean coffee grinder)
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/2 c nutritional yeast
2 TB arrowroot powder
1 TB garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
cayenne to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
handful parsley, chopped
soymilk and water as needed
Instructions1. Preheat oven to 375*F. Generously oil a loaf-shaped baking dish. Cook 3 servings whole wheat spaghetti according to directions; drain, rinse, and set aside. Also combine dry mix ingredients and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onions. Saute 5-10 minutes, until somewhat translucent. Turn off heat and stir in parsley.
3. Add dry mix to onion mixture and stir. Turn heat on low, and add soymilk and/or water as needed until you have a slightly watery sauce.
4. Mix sauce well into spaghetti, then turn the whole mess into the baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375*F for 30 minutes, or until the dish is bubbling and the noodles on top have gotten crispy-chewy. Serve hot. Serves about 3.