1 pound pasta (shells or elbows)
2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat)
2 cups vegetable stock
10-12 ounces butternut squash, roasted
1 cup soy cream (I used Silk Soy Creamer)
1 bag cheddar Daiya
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
pepper to taste
Another bit about the ingredients. It uses a lot of off the shelf vegan products, so keep this in mind if you're trying to avoid this. The butter I used was Earth Balance. It's a great butter alternative that acts and tastes just like the real thing. Seriously good. The soy creamer was by the silk brand. I usually dislike soy "milks," but considering there were so many other flavors it masked the taste almost entirely. I may try using an almond creamer next time.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the butternut squash in half, removing the seeds. Cook the squash long enough that a fork can be easily stabbed into it with very little resistance. I believe it took me about 25 minutes. Start with 15, and work your way up.
Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta shells. They should be still have a slight bit of rigidity, so they don't fall apart upon mixing with the "cheese." Once cooked, strain and run over cold water to stop the cooking process. Later on we'll combine it with the sauce to heat back up.
At this point the squash should be done. Trim off the skin and chop into small chunks, roughly half an inch square. It doesn't exactly matter, but we are trying to make the squash melt along with everything else. Next heat a large high walled sauce pan under medium heat. Melt the Earth Balance butter a bit, then put the onions in. Cook those for around 2 minutes, until decently cooked. Next add the flour. This will cause the flour to instantly thicken. Just stir it for a minute. The creator of this recipe calls the flour bit a "roux."
Add the vegetable broth, and squash. Stir until dissolved. I used a potato masher to ensure the chunks dissolved. Make sure to scrape the edges during this process. After that has smoothed out, add the soy creamer and stir in. Let this sit until a slow bubble starts. Add the Daiya cheese and keep stirring. You will want to stir it consistently until cheese had melded completely.
Once it looks melted and delicious, add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir and serve. It makes a ton of mac & cheese. Being one person, it will take me a week to eat this, or it other works I will have to give some away.
I really liked this recipe. There is a very small hint of a foreign taste, but it doesn't distract from an awesome dish. My goal some day, is to make a mac & cheese recipe that does not use fake cheese or nutritional yeast, like most do. It may not be possible, but that's my goal. On the other hand, Daiya seems to be a great product. Until next time...
Update: I'm still eating the left overs from this recipe, several days later. It's so good. The first few bites always have a hint of an odd unique taste, but after the third bite it's so delicious I can barely put it down! A definite staple for sure.