Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Line two small ramekins with baking paper and put aside. Put all the ingredients for the topping into the cup of a high-speed blender with 200ml water and 1 tsp salt. Blend on the highest speed for at least a minute. Make sure the cashews are completely smooth – no chunks or sandy grains.
Pour into a small saucepan and put over a medium low heat, whisking constantly. The liquid will start to thicken quite quickly. Keep whisking until the liquid is very thick and stringy and resembles fondue or melted stringy cheese. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins and cover. Put into the freezer until solid (around 2 hours).
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add the carrot and cook for 15 minutes or until completely soft. Remove the carrot with a slotted spoon (keep the water in the pan) and add to the cup of a high-speed blender. Set aside.
Add a good pinch of salt to the boiling water you used to cook the carrot, followed by the pasta. Cook for around 5 minutes or until very al dente. While the pasta is cooking, add all the remaining ingredients to the blender, along with the carrot. Use a ladle to remove 100ml of the pasta water and add it to the blender. Blend on a high speed until completely smooth and puréed.
Once the pasta is very al dente, drain and add to a small, deep roasting tin. Cover with the creamy blender sauce. Remove the vegan cheese from the freezer and remove the paper. Use a coarse grater to shred some of the vegan cheese over the top of the pasta. It’s not necessary to use all of the cheese – you will have some left over but it will keep wrapped in the freezer until you need it.
Cover the tray tightly with foil. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes before removing the foil and baking for a further 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.