Hi all, over the weekend I had one of the mini Marco’s come stay with me. On Saturday I took him to the city and we got to see the Scottish march for Tartan Day. Apparently we have had the Tartan Day celebration for the last 17 years. This was news to me. Although I do remember a few years back when I was living in Spring Hill and a parade of drums and bagpipes marched past my bedroom window. I thought my housemate had gone mad and was trying to torture me by turning up the music louder and louder. Marco’s nephew was really excited to see the bagpipes the Scottish dogs marching too.
After that we went to the Modern Art Gallery and got to make Kangaroo masks, hop around the enclosure and make posters. Not sure who was having more fun.
For dinner I wanted to make something that was kid friendly. I have tried out vegan cheesy nutritional yeast sauces before with Marco’s niece and nephew, but this mini Marco really didn’t like it. But I am persistent and I figure eventually he would get a taste for it. I have trialed this approach with big Marco and usually by the 6th try he will eat it happily. Well I was in luck because tonight he really liked it.
I think I have finally perfected this recipe too. My vitamix also really helped to get the cashews and pumpkin really creamy and the panko crumbs gave it a nice crunchy top. The only thing he didn’t like was the crunchy top, but this was big Marco’s favorite part.
This recipe can easily be made gluten free with gluten free pasta and gluten free panko crumbs (or no crumbs). I always thicken vegan cheesy sauces and other sauces with Arrowroot flour (tapioca flour), because I prefer it. It is also gluten free. You can find this in any Coles or Woolworths in the baking section. You can also buy Nutritional yeast at any health food store. I love this stuff and really recommend it to anyone who wants to try out dairy free cooking. It also has lots Vit B, so its good for you and won’t stick to your pots.
Although this was the best Baked Cheezy Butternut Pumpkin Pasta, these are not the best photos ever. But trust me this tastes a lot better and looked alot better then what my photos portray.
Best Baked Cheezy Butternut Pumpkin Pasta (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)
1 cup cashews
4 cups chopped butternut pumpkin (peeled)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons tapicoa flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste
500g penne or macaroni (use gluten free pasta if you prefer)
3 tablespoons panko crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. If you haven’t soaked cashews, then boil them for 10 mins. Then place in the blender with 1/4 cup of water and blend to make cashew cream. Add another 1/4 cup of water if you need to help break down the cashews to make them more creamy.
3. In the meantime, steam the pumpkin until its soft. Then add the steamed pumpkin to the cashew cream and blend till smooth.
4. Cook the penne according to packet directions.
5. In the meantime prepare the cheesy sauce. Melt the nutlex in a large pan on low heat. While it is melting combine the almond milk and arrowroot flour and whisk. Then add the almond milk to the pan with the melted butter.
6. While the sauce is heating add the dijon mustard, garlic powder, tumeric and whisk until it thickens.
7. Then add the nutitional yeast and whisk.
9. Place a couple ladles of the sauce on the bottom of a large caserol dish. Then add the pasta and add the rest of the sauce. Stir it through, so that all the sauce is coating the pasta.
10. Top the pasta with a panko crumbs, then bake for 30 mins.
For more similar recipes check out my: Baked ‘Cheesy’ Fusilli Bolognese (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free), Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Spring Vegetable (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)