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Pasta

Penne ‘n’ Cheese

Penne ‘n’ Cheese

This recipe is from the Veggie Tree Cookbook by Anna Valentine. Anna’s recipes also feature in our Vegetarian Living NZ magazine

Penne ‘n’ Cheese Vegan | Gluten-free

Serves 4–6

My version of Mac ’n’ Cheese, the ultimate comfort food. I love wholemeal dried pasta, it contains more fibre than regular pasta and tastes great. With added veggies for flavour and colour, this doesn’t have to be an unhealthy meal. If going for the gluten-free version please find the sauce recipe below.

Grease an ovenproof dish and put a big pot of water on to boil with the lid on. Heat your oven to 200°C.

Gather your ingredients and prepare the following:

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 150gm vegetarian bacon or hotdog, diced (optional)
  • 6 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • ¼ cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 tomato or tamarillo (peeled), sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Keep the prepared veggies together on a chopping board and prepare the following:

SAUCE

  • 200g margarine or neutral oil
  • 3/4 cup flour or 1/3 c cornflour (starch)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 litre milk – any kind, but best to use something with neutral flavour
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 300g grated cheese (try Angel Food’s cheeses)

Melt the margaring or heat the oil in a pan, then add the garlic. Fry for one minute, add the flour and stir while cooking for one minute on a medium-high heat. Gradually add the milk, one cupful at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. After the second addition of milk, add the vegetable stock powder, mustard powder and oregano.

When all the milk has been incorporated add the grated cheese and stir through to melt. Season with:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½  tsp cracked black pepper

If not using immediately push a piece of baking paper down onto the top to prevent a skin forming.

GLUTEN-FREE SAUCE

Omit the flour. Add the garlic to the milk and bring almost to the boil, adding the vegetable stock, mustard powder and oregano. Mix the cornflour with half a cup of water, then add to the sauce, stirring well until thickened. Add the cheese and mix until smooth. Season as desired.

Meanwhile add:

  • 2 Tbsp salt

To the pot of boiling water along with the halved brussel sprouts and cook for just one minute, then scoop out the sprouts and place on your chopping board with the other veggies.

Add to the boiling water:

  • 400g wholemeal penne pasta or gluten-free penne pasta

Stir and cook until just al dente; it will cook further in the oven. Drain then stir into the prepared sauce. Spoon into the greased ovenproof dish along with the prepared veggies  and top with:

And arrange the sliced tomato on the top. Bake for 15 minutes until bubbling and golden. Top with finely grated dairy-free parmesan and serve.