Shopping tips Jalapeno peppers are a chilli pepper widely used in Mexican and other Latino food. Brands to look for include Tesco and Old El Paso but there are others. Use a bit of chilli powder if you can't find them. It doesn't have to be spicy hot, it just adds depth of flavour. Nutritional yeast flakes are a vegan must-have! Found in Holland & Barrett, independent health food shops and increasingly, in larger branches of some supermarkets. Alternatively, try online: everyone from RealFoods, Goodness Direct and Veggie Stuff to Ocado and Amazon sells it!
Mac 'n' Cheese photo courtesy of Chef Chloe with thanks (awesome US site. She has a cafe in New York and cookbooks too... !)
Large pot of boiling, salted water
350-400g small-medium tubular pasta, eg macaroni, penne or rigatoni
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 1 hour). Raw means unroasted and unsalted. Cashew pieces are a cheaper option
1 small onion
1 tsp garlic - fresh or from a tube
1 tsp dill
½-1 tsp salt, start small, add more if necessary
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1.5 cups boiling water (360-400mls)
10 jalapeno pepper pieces (from a jar, or 1 whole pepper) OR a pinch or two of chilli powder
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot
Optional: 1 tbsp soya sauce (tamari is GF) Paprika - sweet or smoked - to sprinkle on top ½ pack silken tofu, blended with the rest of the sauce - this adds extra protein and smoothness Melting vegan cheese and sliced tomatoes for a topping. Violife melts well and is widely available.
Put pasta on to boil in the salted water.
Blend ingredients together for 3 minutes until smooth.
Heat up the sauce and pour on the cooked, well-drained pasta. Mix in well, taste and season. Serve - preferably with something green like broccoli or a big salad.
If you want to bake it, set the oven to 220°C/450°F/Gas Mark 7, add some grated vegan cheese and sliced tomatoes and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Violife parmesan-style - Prosociano - is particularly nice.