In America, the dish called “mac and cheese”, means any pasta with a lot of thick and fatty cheese sauce.
I’ll tell you honestly, I still cannot understand how such a combination can not only be loved and regularly eaten but also be called a traditional “children’s dish”, however, mac and cheese always stands in the honorable position of second place after pizza on the children’s menu of any American restaurant.
It looks like cheese, it tastes like cheese but it’s not cheese! I confess my secret. Instead of cheese, I use pumpkin, a whole cup of it. I add a few cashews for a creamier taste and fresh basil for piquancy.
In my family, pasta made from all-purpose flour has become a rarity, most often I cook pasta made from quinoa, rice, potatoes, corn or whole-wheat flour, but you can easily use any pasta. This pasta is better served hot!
Add some fresh tomatoes, pumpkin seeds or use the dish as a garnish. Your children will be completely delighted.
Ready? Set? Let’s go cooking!
We will need: (1 large portion)
1 cup (250 ml) of pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. of cashews (I use fried)
1 tbsp. of fresh basil
2 tbsp. of olive oil (I use avocado oil, since it has a more neutral taste)
1/2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of vegetable broth
3 cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp of lemon or rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pumpkin until it is ready. Usually, I do not have time to do this, so I just buy ready-made pumpkin puree, but then I decided to work hard from the very beginning to the end and make my own.
Drain the water. Add the nuts (they should be soaked for a few hours if your blender is weak), basil (I use frozen), oil, broth, garlic, tomatoes and pulse everything in a blender to the consistency of a smoothie.
Add some vinegar or juice.
Cook the spaghetti or other pasta, then drain the water and mix it with the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve it as a separate dish, and as a side to fish or seafood.
Tasty and healthy!
P.S. Such pasta is perfectly stored in the refrigerator for several days.