Macaroni ‘cheese’ has to be one of the world’s best comfort foods, but this recipe contains plenty of goodness besides the comforting carbs. As you would hope, it’s quick and easy to make, but the taste is really special. Any brand of vegan cheese should work fine in this, but if you are able to get hold of some Vegusto or Violife, that will help to make this really special. You can order Vegusto online, or get it from some independent health food shops. The same applies to Violife, although I think it’s now stocked in some of the larger Tesco stores too. You’ll notice the deliberate mistake in the definite absence of macaroni, but I found fusili worked just as well.
Ingredients for macaroni ‘cheese’ with sage and kale (serves 2):
- 150 g pasta
- A splash of cooking oil
- 100g kale
- 100g courgette
- 4 tbsp vegan margarine
- 2 tbsp flour
- 800 ml soya milk
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp yeast extract
- Vegan cheese to taste (this will depend completely on the strength of the cheese you’re using)
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then add the pasta, along with a splash of oil. Cook until tender (around 10-15 mins).
- Meanwhile, grate the courgette, and if using whole kale leaves (rather than pre-chopped ones) pull the leaves off the stems and tear into medium-sized pieces.
- Gently melt the margarine in a largeish pan, then add the kale and sautee for a few minutes. Add the flour and stir until a paste forms, then cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the soya milk, stirring constantly and bringing to the boil until the sauce reaches a nice thick consistency. If you find it becomes too thick, you can add some more milk, and more flour if it’s not quite thick enough.
- Stir in the sage, yeast extract, courgette and cheese, and simmer until the cheese is melted (if you’re using a brand that melts) and the pasta is ready.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the sauce. Serve with some nice crusty bread for the full comfort food experience!