Hello lovelies! This was a recipe I saw....not sure where...somewhere on Facebook. It had a recipe video and I was looking at it and thought, "I could totally veganise that!"
The original recipe used chickens, but I used my trusted chickpeas (I mean, they both start with CH!) and let me say, it came out GORGEOUS.
You can view the original recipe here from CAFE DELITES. Their recipe was a one pot dish because she seared the chickens in the same pan as she cooked the mac and cheese. I decided to roast my chickpeas in the oven because roasted chickpeas=major yum. They go all crispy and crazy delicious when roasted. Like chickpea croutons.
Her recipe used 3 kinds of cheese, however I cut the fat, but not the deliciousness.
Tuscan Chickpeas Mac and Cheese
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
In a large roasting pan add the following:
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 TB oil (you can use the oil from a jar of sun dried tomatoes to make it even yummier)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Coat with oil then the spices. Set aside while the oven heats. Meanwhile make your Parmesan. You can totally cheat and use something like Good Carma if you don't want to make your own.
in a food processor or spice grinder blend up the following:
3 TB nutritional yeast flakes
3 TB ground almonds (almond meal)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
For the pasta in cream sauce:
1 white onion, diced small
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp white wine (or do what I did--1/4 cup cloudy apple juice plus 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. Could use white grape juice instead of apple.)
5 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, blotted and snipped into small pieces
1.5 TB flour (I used rice flour)
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup non dairy milk (I used soya milk)
1/2 cup + 1 TB coconut milk or Soya cream or Oatly cream (I used this little tin of 165ml coconut milk we buy from B&M Bargains 4 for £1.)
2 cups dry (GF) pasta
100g curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bits (4-5 cups?)
salt and pepper to taste
1. When the oven is hot, put the roasting tin with the chickpeas in and bake for 15 minutes. then remove and stir the chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes.
2. About five minutes after you start the chickpeas start your pasta in a big pot.
3. Cook the onion and garlic and sun dried tomatoes in a splash of oil or water (or knob of vegan butter) until softened. Add your white wine (or ersatz juice wine) and simmer for a few minutes until it reduces a little bit.
3. Add the flour and mixed herbs and stir to make sure all is thickened. Add the veg stock, the milk and the coconut milk (or cream). Bring to the boil.
4. When boiling, reduce heat to a high simmer and add your dried pasta and kale and cook STIRRING NEARLY CONSTANTLY until your pasta is cooked. The pasta will clump and stick to the bottom if you do not stir. Heed the warning my friend. My GF pasta cooks in 8 minutes. After this time the pasta was al dente (it will continue to cook in the sauce, so don't overcook) so I took it off the heat and it had a thick creamy sauce.
5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and add pepper.
6.Top with roasted chickpeas.
I took a picture with half of the chickpeas to make it aesthetically pleasing then loaded them up so thick you couldn't see the pasta underneath. This made 2 huge bowls. You could serve it for company by keeping the chickpea bit the same and doubling the pasta and sauce bit.
It was soooo creamy and cheesy and felt really rich and indulgent but without the cruelty or the fat. And no, it didn't taste like coconut. It just had a fatty mouth feel--the same that dairy gives you but without all the gunk like pus and hormones or the heartbreak of a baby taken from its mother.
We will definitely have this again.