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Vegan Chili Mac
“Raw cashews are the base of this velvety smooth sauce. (A high-speed blender will yield you the creamiest results.) Nutritional yeast and tomato paste provide rich umami flavor to this easy vegan dinner.”
1 cup raw cashews
¾ cup warm water
8 ounces elbow pasta, preferably whole-wheat
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (4 ounce) cans mild or hot diced green chiles
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1Place cashews in a small bowl, cover with ¾ cup warm water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain the cashews and rinse.
2Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Just before the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta.
3Place the cashews, lime juice, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, paprika, salt and cayenne in a high-speed blender; blend on the highest setting until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice. Thin the sauce with the reserved cooking liquid, if necessary.
4Transfer the pasta to a bowl. Toss with the cashew sauce, chiles and cilantro.
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.