Everything that you want from a Mac & Cheese with bold flavours, soft cheese and fresh greens cutting through the whole dish to give it a nice veggie-packed edge. This recipe has quickly turned into a favourite in our household, we serve it alongside Sunday roasts, bowls of salads and even on its own for a great pasta dinner.
Bake it with breadcrumbs at the end to give it a crispy topping or if you’re in a rush you can leave out the last part and serve it as pasta for a super simple dinner.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Food styling: Lily Gjertsen
Photography: Leo Harris
500g macaroni pasta
2 slices of bread
Large handful of kale
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
400ml almond milk
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
200g grated extra mature cheddar
200g grated mozzarella
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
Place the cashews into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes until they become soft. Once soft, drain.
Place the kale onto a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Mix well and roast for 5-10 minutes until crispy. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool a little before roughly chopping. Leave to one side until needed.
Place the bread into a blender and blend until you have breadcrumbs. Transfer to a small bowl and rinse out the blender ahead of making the sauce.
Next, place the drained cashews, basil, garlic, lemon juice, almond milk, mustard and a large pinch of salt into a powerful blender (we use a NutriBullet) and blend until a smooth sauce forms – you may need to add a dash more almond milk until you reach a smooth, sauce-like consistency
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack, cooking for 1 less minute than stated. Drain (saving one mug-full of pasta water) and place to one side until needed.
Place a large pan over a medium heat and pour in the green sauce, add the grated cheeses and heat through until the cheeses have melted into the sauce.
Mix some pasta water, chopped kale and the cooked pasta through the sauce, cooking for a further 5 minutes until everything is piping hot. You may want to add another dash of almond milk until you reach a silky consistency.
Pour the macaroni into a large baking tray and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the top turns golden. Serve immediately.
Food writer and photographer duo Lily Gjertsen & Leo Harris know exactly what you want to cook mid-week. Their vegetarian recipes use staple pantry ingredients and veg that you’ll often have in your fridge, so you don’t need to do too much thinking when you’ve come back from a long day. It’s simple, delicious and nourishing food.