Nooch is all well and good but it's time to level up your plant based mac and cheese with our ched spread! Get bagel crumbs and crisps ready too, and bring your curious a-game to the kitchen for this one...
Our ched spread swirls wonderfully into a vegan white sauce adding cheesiness and full flavour but the joint winner in this dish is the crunchy cheese-less topping, made up from bagel crumbs and crushed up crisps. Yes, really! We've tried different flavours, and think pom bears do a cracking job - but it's one you can have fun with and is really very good.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Start by cooking your macaroni (as per packet instructions) in a large pan of boiling water with a large pinch of salt. Once your pasta is cooked and soft, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry off your onion in a tbsp of olive oil. Once brown and soft, add your garlic and keep stirring for another couple of minutes. Take off the heat and set aside (and keep your frying pan handy to reuse in a minute).
Next, add milk to a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil slowly, and then remove from the heat. Slowly bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
Put your frying pan back on a medium heat and add the butter to slowly melt. Once melted, add the flour, stirring continuously until you have a smooth roux (which will have a paste-like texture).
Add the warm milk slowly, whisking until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk a little at a time, whisking continuously. Once smooth, bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer for a couple of minutes until thick but still pourable (add a splash more milk if prefer a saucier mac & cheese).
Add the Ched Spread and stir in, allowing this to melt into the sauce, and season to taste. Mix in your macaroni until fully covered and transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Cover the top with breadcrumbs (or use up any leftovers you have – we used a genius combination or leftover bagel crumbs & CRISPS which worked amazingly!) and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until your mac and cheese is lovely and golden.