Thursday, July 21, 2011

"The Cassie" - Caramelised Onion Mushroom MacnnotCheese

I had the request of both caramelised onions and mushrooms from my friend Cassie as dinner options.  I thought that it would be a great opportunity to branch out, macnnotcheese-wise.

Check it:


Caramelised Onion

650g brown onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Braggs
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 cups vegetable stock

White Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 3 medium cloves)
1/3 cup rice flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 to 3 cups vegetable stock
juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup non dairy milk

Smoky Breadcrumbs

3 to 4 slices of bread, processed into 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


350g mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil


1 can chickpeas, drained
400g macaroni/pasta elbows


Caramelised Onions

Peel the onions and slice into thin half moons.  Heat the olive oil in a deep sided frying pan over a medium heat.  Saute the onions until they are softened and beginning to colour.  Add the brown sugar and stir through to mix thoroughly.  Pour in the red wine vinegar, mix through and cook off.  Add the Braggs, vegan Worcestershire sauce and 2 cups vegetable stock.  Simmer until the liquid has cooked off and the onions are brown and gooey.  Set to one side.

White Sauce

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat.  Saute the garlic for a minute, and then add the rice flour and nutritional yeast.  Stir to combine and cook the flour and nutritional yeast for a couple of minutes.  Pour in some of the vegetable stock and whisk to form a smooth thick paste.  Pour in further stock and whisk to form a smooth sauce.  Continue adding a little stock at a time and whisking until the sauce is pourable but coats the back of a spoon.  Take off the heat and stir through the lemon juice and non dairy milk.  Set to one side.

Smoky Breadcrumbs

Combine all the ingredients well in a bowl or food processor.  Set to one side.


Cut the mushrooms into thick chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a deep sided frying pan over a medium heat and saute the mushrooms until slightly softened and beginning to colour.  Set to one side.

Putting it all together 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.  Drain the chickpeas and pour into a large bowl.  Mash roughly.  Stir through the cooked mushrooms and half the white sauce.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the chickpea/mushroom mixture and pour through another 1/4 of the white sauce. Mix well.

Pour half of the pasta mixture into a baking dish, approximately 25 to 30cm long by about 20cm wide and at least 10cm deep.

Spoon over 1/3 of the caramelised onion and sprinkle over 1/3 of the smoky breadcrumbs.

Pour over the rest of the pasta mixture and smooth down the top.  Pour over the remaining white sauce, pulling away at the sides of the pasta as needed to let the sauce run down through the whole dish.

Carefully top with the remaining caramelised onions and the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs down carefully.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling, the edges are browned and breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes.

Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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