Cheese and Broccoli Pasta Bake

I love baked pasta dishes, once I transitioned to veganism I was a little concerned that I might not be able to eat them any longer. But there are so many different vegan cheeses out there now, you’re sure to find something you like.

Yield; Two servings Cook time; 45 minutes

You’ll need;

  1. One head of broccoli, cut into florets
  2. 125g/4.5oz pasta
  3. 25g/1oz dairy free margarine
  4. 25g/1oz plain all purpose flour
  5. 400ml warm non dairy milk
  6. 80g/3oz non dairy cheese
  7. Three tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  8. Half a teaspoon of dijon mustard
  9. Three tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Method;

  • Firstly, boil the broccoli for five minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  • Next, work on the cheese sauce. Melt the margarine in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and mix with a whisk.
  • Cook the flour and margarine for four minutes before adding the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly.
  • Once you have incorporated all the milk, add in the cheese, nutritional yeast and mustard, season with a little salt and plenty of cracked black pepper.
  • Once the cheese has melted the sauce should have thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. (You could do this while making the sauce to cut down on time). While the pasta is boiling, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
  • When the pasta is cooked, add it to an oven proof dish. Add the broccoli to the pasta and pour the cheese sauce over the top, mix well to combine. Scatter over the breadcrumbs and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Leave to stand for five minutes before serving. The skin in your mouth will thank you for it!

Tips; 

  1. You can buy non dairy cheese from most larger branches of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Morrisons, and of course, good old Holland and Barratt.
  2. If you try a cheese you don’t like, try not to let it put you off. Keep trying different ones, you’re bound to find something that you like.
  3. Also, if you find a cheese too intense, I’ve found cooking with them can really mellow them out. So don’t give up on it right away, add it to a sauce, or melt it on toast to see if that helps.
  4. Finally, I’ve found many non dairy cheeses tend to melt at lower temperatures than dairy cheese. So if your cheese dried out/becomes crumbly/etc try melting at a lower temperature. Or in the case of melting cheese on top of dishes, try covering with foil. Just be careful not to let the foil touch the cheese directly.

 

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