“We made up this recipe,” says Linda. “I’m not great at following recipes and often just throw a bunch of stuff together and hope for the best. This one worked so I jotted it down. I’m the main cook in our house, but Drew’s the best sous chef!”
ACTIVE: 20 MIN
TOTAL: 45 MIN
– Cooking spray
– 1 package (8 oz.) chickpea elbow pasta, such as Banza
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 8 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 2 1/4 cups pre-shredded vegan mozzarella or vegan cheddar, such as Daiya
– 2 tbsp. well-stirred tahini
– 2 tsp. nutritional yeast
– 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp. garlic powder
– 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
– 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.
3. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are brown and tender, about 8 minutes; season to taste with salt.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then stir in the almond milk and 2 cups cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the tahini, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, and garlic powder; season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the cheese mixture into the pasta until the pasta is coated. Gently stir in the walnuts and 2 tsp. thyme.
5. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the mac and cheese is heated through and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Garnish the mac and cheese with more thyme before serving.
Recipe by Linda Phan and Drew Scott | Photograph by Chelsea Kyle