Original Recipe is 100% Vegan, but we've included non-vegan substitutions as well! Serves 8
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1/2 a large squash)
1 1/2 cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or whole milk)
3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh bay leaf
2 Tablespoons Vegan Half & Half (or regular heavy cream)
8 ounces cashew cheese (or freshly grated italian fontina)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour (or up to overnight is fine), drained
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt (more as needed)
¼ cup water (more as needed)
Salt & Pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni (or desired pasta)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded vegan Parmesan (or Grana padano or regular Parmesan)
1/4 cup fresh italian parsley leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Add the elbows to the boiling water. When the pasta is al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking. Return the pasta to the pasta pot and save for later.
In a medium saucepan, combine the squash, chicken broth, milk, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the squash is tender, 10-12 min. Cool slightly, remove the bay leaf and rosemary, and pour into a blender/food processor.
Make the cashew cheese:
Place all ingredients (except the water) into a blender or food processor. Pulse repeatedly to break the cashews up. Scrape the sides of the food processor down with a spatula.
Add water in small batches and continue processing until the cashew cheese is smooth and thick, adding a tablespoon of extra water if needed. It should be the consistency of hummus or ricotta cheese.
Add the half & half/cream and cashew cheese to the squash mixture in a blender/food processor and blend slowly until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the sauce with the pasta and coat well. Add some of the reserved pasta water if it seems too dry.
Pour into a greased 13x9" glass or ceramic baking dish. In a small bowl, toss together the panko, Parmesan, parsley and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the pasta. Bake until the sauce is bubbly on the edges and the top is browned and crispy, 15-20 minutes (don't over-bake or it will dry out).
Nutrition Info Per Serving (Vegan Options): Calories 463.8 Total Fat 17.4 g Saturated Fat 1.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g Monounsaturated Fat 8.8 g Cholesterol 0.0 mg Sodium 396.0 mg Potassium 271.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 67.6 g Dietary Fiber 6.0 g Sugars 4.5 g Protein 14.7 g
Nutrition Info Per Serving (Non-Vegan Options): Calories 555.8 Total Fat 17.9 g Saturated Fat 9.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g Monounsaturated Fat 5.3 g Cholesterol 55.0 mg Sodium 598.4 mg Potassium 630.2 mg Total Carbohydrate 76.8 g Dietary Fiber 6.9 g Sugars 10.9 g Protein 23.0 g