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Cold autumn weather makes me long for comfort food. This mac and cheese is perfect to satisfy such cravings. The pasta is coated with cheesy sauce that’s bursting with flavour. Roasted pumpkin in the sauce makes the flavour more complex as does the addition of smoked paprika along with the cheesiness of vegan cheddar.
I like to top the pasta with some more grated vegan cheddar cheese, fresh sage leaves and crushed walnuts. For the cheese I’m using Violife Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block that truly lives up to its name – it really is epic! Try it also in vegan grilled cheese sandwich, it tastes just like the real thing and it melts heavenly.
Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (GF Option)
- 250 g pumpkin (hokkaido, red kuri squash) deseeded and cubed with skin on
- 3/4 tsp coconut oil melted
- 150 g vegan cheddar cheese I used Violife Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block
- 15 g (1 tbsp) vegan butter
- 200 ml (3/4 cup + 4 tsp) unsweetened cashew milk
- heaped 0.4 tsp salt or to taste
- a pinch of black pepper
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 9 g (1 tbsp) arrowroot
- 200 g vegan pasta of choice gluten free if needed
- additional vegan cheddar cheese grated
- a few leaves of fresh sage
- 15 g walnuts crushed
- Drizzle melted coconut oil over cubed pumpkin and mix. Arrange pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast it at 200 °C for 20 min.
- After pumpkin is roasted, transfer it to a blender along with all other ingredients for the sauce. Mix well together.
- Boil 1.5 litres of water in a larger pot then add 2 tsp of salt and pasta into the boiling water. Wait until it starts boiling again then turn the heat to medium and cook for one minute less than what it says on the pasta box.
- Discard the pasta water and return the empty pot on the stove. Pour sauce in it and heat it until it starts to thicken.
- Add pasta to the sauce and mix together.
- Transfer half of pasta and sauce into a greased baking dish. Top with grated vegan cheese (as much as you like). Top with other half of pasta and sauce. Top again with grated vegan cheese. Place some sage leaves on top and sprinkle with crushed walnuts.
- Bake on the middle rack at 190 °C for 20 min.
- If you wish you can place the baking dish on the high rack for a couple of minutes for the topping to get crispy.
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