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WPF Rotini

(CH version of mac + cheese)

This recipe doesn't use oil, faux-vegan cheese, or a thickening agent. It doesn't exactly taste like the mac and cheese we ate as kids, but it's a tasty version made with whole plants. This works best with raw cashews, but you can skip them (I don't). For a more sustainable nut, use sunflower seeds. Whole wheat, bean-based, or grain-based pasta work for this recipe. That said, whole wheat pasta has the best texture. A green salad, steamed broccoli, or roasted cauliflower go great with this dish. For leftovers, add a bit of plant-based milk when heating it up. WPF Rotini was inspired by various mac and cheese recipes via Monkey + Me Kitchen Adventures created by Robin and Ameera, a dynamic mother-daughter duo. 

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for Boiling

 

  • 2 cups white potatoes, diced, not peeled

  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced, peeled (orange variety)

  • 1/2 medium zucchini, large chop

  • 1/2 cup carrots, small diced

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 16oz whole wheat rotini pasta (dry)

  • water for boiling
     

Ingredients for the Sauce

 

  • 1 cup red onion or leek, diced

  • 1 cup plant-based milk (I use unsweetened oat milk)

  • 1/2 cup veggie stock

  • 1/2 cup white beans, cooked (any kind)

  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, diced (I love garlic and use 1/4 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup lemon juice, fresh

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1-3 tablespoons hot sauce (optional, any kind)

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (not brewer's yeast)

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic 

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • salt + pepper to taste (optional)

 

 

Ingredients for the Topping (intended for 9 x 13 casserole dish)

 

  • 3/4 cup panko, bread crumbs, or Wasa crackers

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped (I use fresh - dried is cool)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, herbs of Provence, or Italian blend

  • salt + pepper to taste (optional)

MACROS (coming soon): 

  • protein:      

  • carbohydrates: 

  • fiber:      

  • saturated fat:          

  • unsaturated fat:  

  • calories: 

DIRECTIONS

FIRST

 

  1. Boil the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and cashews. The veggies will feel soft when done - this takes about 10 to 12 minutes. 

  2. Drain well, put back in empty pot, cover, and set aside on stove.

  3. Sauté the onions/leeks and garlic using veggie stock or water until very tender on medium heat. Stir often so that it doesn't burn, and add veggie stock/water as needed. This takes about 15 minutes. 

  4. In a large pot, boil rotini per package directions. Don't do "al dente" pasta... cook fully but not overcooked. Rinse with hot water and drain well. Put back into empty large pot on stove used for boiling, cover, and set aside.

SECOND

 

  1. Add all the Boiled and Sauce ingredients to the blender.

  2. Blend on high speed until it's totally mixed together and creamy. This takes roughly 3 to 4 minutes (depends on the power of your appliance). 
     

THIRD

 

  1. Preheat oven to 500 F.

  2. In a small bowl, gently stir together all the Toppings ingredients.

  3. Add the warm sauce to the pasta pot. Gently mix well. If using salt and/or pepper, add to taste.
     

BAKE
 

  • In a casserole dish, add the pasta and sauce combo. Gently pat it down with a fork. I use a Pyrex 9" x 13" but any kind works.

  • Clean the sides of the casserole dish of any extra goo. You can use a paper towel or a clean, washable cloth. This important step makes cleanup way easier*. 

  • Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the pasta. 

  • Note: if you use Wasa crackers, crush them well. I use a coffee/spice grinder and pulse them until they're crushed. You can also put them in a bag and smash them.

  • Bake at 500 F for 7 minutes. Then, turn the casserole dish around and cook for another 7 minutes so that it gets evenly browned. The sides will be bubbling a bit.

  • Let it sit for a minute before serving. Tastes best when hot.
     

* NOTE: You can use a small amount of cooking spray - pure olive oil is cool (no silicone). I don't use oil at all, so I soak the casserole dish in hot, soapy water overnight. BTW: Pyrex works wonders for clean-up.

METRIC 

 

16 oz (1 pound) = 450 grams
1 cup = 140 grams
3/4 cup = 105 grams
1/2 cup = 70 grams
1/3 cup = 47 grams

1/4 cup = 35 grams

1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1/8 teaspoon = .5 ml

9 inches = 23 cm

13 inches = 33 cm

500 degrees = 260 C

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