Need some comfort food? Try this baked mac 'n' cheese with a delicious cashew cheese sauce and a crunchy breadcrumbs topping. It's creamy, indulgent and fools every non-vegan friend.
In a large pot, cook the pasta in salt water until al dente. Meanwhile make the sauce.
To make the cashew cream, blend the soaked and drained cashews and water in a high speed blender. If it is too thick, add a little more water.
In a small pot over medium heat add the vegetable broth and the miso paste and stir until smooth. Lower the heat and add the cashew cream, garlic powder, onion powder and nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the sauce for additional 5 minutes until smooth and thick. Optional, add some shredded vegan cheese.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Mix the ingredients for the topping in a food processor, set aside.
Stir together the pasta, cheese sauce and peas and season with paprika. If you think the mixture is too thick, add another 60 ml of vegetable broth.
Pour the mixture in a 17 x 25 cm baking dish, add the breadcrumbs on top and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
* The cashews need to be soaked to make it easier and smoother to blend. Soaking them for 4 hours or overnight is the preferred way. For an easy cheat, you could also boil some water and soak them for 10 mins.
** Any miso paste is great. If you don't have miso paste you could substitute it with dijon mustard. It's not going to get the same umami flavor, but will work fine in this dish.
*** If you have pre-made breadcrumbs, go ahead and use that. Add some nutritional yeast and paprika to spice it up.