Total Time: 30 minutes plus time for soaking cashews
2 tsps. Olive oil
1 small onion, diced
½ tsp. salt, plus a pinch
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. elbow macaroni or other small sized pasta
¾ cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
2 cups vegetable broth
1 ½ tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 roasted red pepper
1 tbsp. tomato paste
¼ tsp. fennel seed
¼ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. ground turmeric
Preheat a 2 qt. sauce pot over medium heat and add the Olive oil.
Sauté the onions in the oil with a pinch of salt for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, then transfer to a blender or food processor.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta.
Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Drain, return to the pot, and set aside.
Drain the cashews and add them to the blender along with the broth, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, red pepper, tomato paste, seasonings, remaining ½ tsp salt, dry mustard, and turmeric. Blend until very smooth. This could take anywhere from 1-5 minutes depending on the strength of your blender. Scrape down the sides every 30 seconds or so and test for smoothness.
Transfer the sauce in the blender back to the sauce pot in which you cooked the onions. Turn the heat to medium and let cook, stirring very often, until thickened. Should take about 10-15 minutes. Taste for salt.
Add the sauce to the pasta in the pot and use a large slotted spoon to mix well, taking care not to break the pasta. ( This can become a baked mac & cheese, if you prefer. Transfer the mixture into an 8x8 square casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes)
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