Serves 4 · Total time: 30 minutes · Active time: 20 minutes
This is a beautiful bright orange mac, flavored with pepperoni-pizza-type seasonings: fennel, thyme and oregano.
* If you don’t have any pizza seasoning lying around, simply use these spices: 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed or ground fennel, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
* You can make this a baked mac, if you prefer! Transfer the whole shebang to an 8 × 8 casserole and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
- 1/2 pound macaroni or other small pasta
- 3/4 cups cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced medium
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 roasted red pepper (jarred or homemade)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pizza seasoning (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Preheat a 2 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Sauté onions in oil with a pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so, then transfer to a blender or food processor.
Boil a large pot of salted water for cooking the pasta. Once boiling, cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain the cashews and add them to the blender along with the vegetable broth, corn starch, nutritional yeast, red peppers, tomato paste, pizza seasoning, salt, mustard and turmeric. Blend until very smooth. Scrape down the sides every 30 seconds or so and test for smoothness.
Transfer the sauce in the blender back to the sauce pot where you cooked the onions. Turn the heat up to medium and let cook, stirring very often, until thickened. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. Taste for salt. It should taste slightly salty because you’re going to be pouring it on the pasta.
The pasta should be done while the sauce is thickening, so drain and place pasta back in the pot you cooked it in. Set aside.
When sauce is thickened, add it to the pasta in the pot, and use a large slotted spoon to mix well, taking care not to break the pasta. Serve!