Not wanting to purchase too much food that will just be unpacked tomorrow, I searched the pantry for dinner inspiration. I found a box of mini wagon-wheel shaped pasta...hmm...a quick search led me to this Food Network recipe. It didn't take much effort to vegan-ize it, just a few easy substitutions. I also reduced the amount of oil, found that 1 tablespoon was more than enough to keep the sausage & veggies from sticking without adding quite as much fat.
Cajun Mac and Cheese
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces wagon-wheel pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 ounces vegan sausage, diced (I used Tofurky Italian flavor)
- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper (red or green), chopped
- 1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend (I used Emeril's Blast!)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups dairy-free milk (I used Almond Breeze)
- 8 ounces dairy-free cheese substitute, shredded or cubed (I used Daiya)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the label directs. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Add the pasta, cheese and reserved cooking water to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, tossing to coat the pasta in the sauce and melt the cheese, about 1 minute.
The verdict: Fabulous! This mac & "cheese" is quite hearty and makes a lot of food, would definitely say more than 4 servings, more like 6 for my family. The sausage and Cajun spice provide a nice kick without being too spicy. I will definitely make this one again!