Fun fact: I don’t think I ever had real mac and cheese before I found out I was lactose intolerant at 19 (I am now 36). I’ve only ever had fake versions so I have no point of reference. Everything I know about mac and cheese I learnt from American pop culture.
Now you know I don’t fuck with rambling intros to recipe blogs but this one needs a few points before we crack on.
- This recipe will make two big servings – halve everything if you’re flying solo. It is just a vegan roux (creamy sauce) with some extra bits thrown in
- I love cashew nuts but fuck every single vegan recipe that uses them for cheese replacement. Where y’all getting the £££ for so many damn raw cashews from anyways?!
- Nutritional yeast is the only “specialty” ingredient I use and is now widely available in pretty much all major supermarkets. It’s comes in at around £3.50 a tub but if you don’t have it or it isn’t in your budget just double (or triple) up the fake cheese instead!
- When I say to taste, do what you want – y’all know your own flavour levels. For example, I love garlic but garlic hates me and gives me indigestion like a bastard so I use a heaped teaspoon of lazy garlic as that is the top end of my limit.
- Add and subtract flavours and extra bits as you see fit, I’m not your mam (I’m barely a shit aunt).
- 150g macaroni or pasta shape of choice
- 100-150g other frozen junk to pad it out (peas, quorn chunks, edamame, carrots, mushrooms, whatever tickles your pickle)
Sauce (or roux if you wanna be fancy):
- 50g plain flour
- 40g vegan butter (I use Vitalite or Flora’s new vegan butter blocks)
- 300ml unsweetened soya milk and water 50/50 split
- Minced/lazy Garlic to preference
- 3tbsp/15g nutritional yeast
- 3.5g salt
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- Chilli flakes to preference
- Fuck ton of black pepper (or a bit, again you know how you like it)
- 2-3 spring onions chopped
- 50-70g/Big handful of fake cheese. My preferred brands are applewood smoked or mexicana, or violife epic mature as they’re all tasty af and melt really well.
- Some fake bacon if you’re feeling fancy, make sure you cook it first and chop up before you start.
You’ll need two pans (small and medium), a fork and a good spatula for cooking
Prep yo stuff! Flavour ingredients in one bowl, cheese and onions in another, flour in a third and milk in a jug. Once you start there’s no time for fucking about so do the work before hand.
Start by throwing your pasta and frozen stuff in the medium pan and stick some boiling water on and set that going on a back burner. You wanna give it a good 5 minute head start. It can all cook together just remember to give it a stir so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
Put the smaller pan on the hob to heat on low (and keep it low or you’re gonna fuck up the sauce). Once hot throw in the butter and swirl around. At this point add the garlic and let it sauté for a few minutes but don’t let too much of the butter evaporate away.
Now you have to work fast: take the pan off the heat and tilt it so the garlic butter is in a delicious puddle, tip the flour in and with a fork work quickly to mix the flour and butter together then add a splash of the milk mix and get working it into a smooth paste. Put the pan back on the heat and now the aim of the game is to keep adding milk in small doses and mixing furiously to obliterate lumps and keep that sauce moving.
Once all the milk is in K E E P S T I R R I N G ! You might want to implement the spatula at this point as there will most likely be lumpy chunks sticking to the bottom. Stir, stir, stir for a minute or two, don’t panic if the sauce isn’t thickening up, it will.
W e l c o m e t o f l a v o u r t o w n : dump the whole bowl of flavour into the sauce and keep stirring. This is probably the point where you’ll notice the sauce get thicker, good times.
By now your pan o’ pasta etc should be done, drain off the water then you need to make a call on either putting it into the sauce or moving the sauce into the pasta pan. Go with whichever works for you but either way mix those two babies together. At this point you wanna add the cheese and onion (and fake bacon if you have it) and give it a good stir.
Back on low heat now but only for a few minutes to melt the cheese, keep stirring with a spatula to stop it catching
And that’s it, serve that fucker up and enjoy!