Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Cheesy? Dairy-free? Lowfat? Vegetarian? Vegan? Gluten-free? Yeast-free? Totally delicious? Easy? All of those is what this recipe is! Just make this - you're going to love it! I've served it plenty of times to my dairy- and dairy-free friends, no one can tell that there's not a morsel of cheese in this mac-n-cheese.

I used orecchiette but any short-ish pasta with a texture that allows sauce to cling on to will do: Maccheroni, fusili, rigatoni, radiatori, conchiglie, cavatelli, casarecci, gemelli, ruote... whatever strikes your fancy. Or whatever you've got waiting to be cooked... or whatever the market has for you.

Orecchiette with Root Vegetable Sauce
Makes: 6 generous servings

- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 shallot
- 2 medium red or yellow potatoes
- 3-4 small (2 medium) carrots
- 1 medium yellow or white onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp. good quality salt
- 1 tbsp. olive or grapeseed oil

- 4 quarts water
- 16 ounces orecchiette

- 2 slices of bread, torn into large pieces

1. Soak cashews in 1 cup water.
2. Cut all the vegetables except garlic into roughly evenly sized pieces.
3. Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
4. Add the cut vegetables and 4 cloves of garlic to the boiling water. There's no need to cut the garlic, add the cloves whole.
5. Bring everything to a boil.
6. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook until vegetables are soft.
7. Remove the vegetables from the heat and allow to cool almost completely.
8. Do not drain vegetables.
9. Add the cashews, 1 clove of garlic, cooked vegetables and water, salt, and all the seasonings to a blender.
10. Blend on high until everything is a smooth paste. SAUCE!!
11. Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.
12. Bring the 4 quarts water to a rolling boil.
13. Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente. Thoroughly drain the pasta.
14. Process the bread in a food processor or blender to make breadcrumbs.
15. Mix the drained pasta with the sauce and put in a 9 in. x 13 in. baking pan. I prefer a glass or ceramic pan but metal will do I suppose.
16. Top with the breadcrumbs and bake for 30 min. or until the sauce starts to bubble.
17. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

1. Make the sauce ahead of time and thin if required before mixing in cooked pasta.
2. Make this gluten-free: use gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs.
3. Mix in other vegetables along with the sauce and pasta: kale or chard torn into pieces, spinach, lightly steamed broccoli, or even cauliflower florets.
4. Make it vegan: make sure to use eggless pasta.

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