Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin for Veganists

Ingredients

1 medium pumpkin, peeled, halved, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup canned light coconut milk
4 cups pasta shells or penne, cooked and drained
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray, for the pan

Topping

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup finely chopped kale leaves

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch pan with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the pumpkin, garlic, thyme, salt, and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, and making sure the all the pumpkin is submerged. Simmer until the pumpkin is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
  3. Carefully place the pumpkin mixture in a food processor or blender and purée until velvety smooth.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water, remove all excess liquid.
  5. Spread out the pasta in the prepared pan, and pour the pumpkin–coconut milk purée over the pasta. Gently fold in the nutritional yeast and mix well to combine, ensuring that all noodles are coated.
  6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cooked through.
  7. To make the topping, combine the ingredients in a small bowl.
  8. Remove the pasta mixture from the oven, uncover, and sprinkle the top with the herbed bread-crumb topping, followed by a sprinkle of the remaining 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Transfer to the broiler and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Clean Green Eats

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