Creamy, dreamy, cheesy pasta bake! If you love pasta you will love this dish. It's a great option for a family dinner or to feed a group of friends. I didn't use any vegan cheese in this, instead I made a cheese sauce with cashews. For the tomato sauce I used some Passata which is pureed tomato but you can use a can of chopped tomatoes + tomato paste (or you can just make your own tomato sauce recipe too) I like to add some cashew cream to the pasta sauce to add an extra touch of creaminess.
1 packet of penne pasta 1 square baking dish
For the tomato sauce: 1 bottle of passata 600g 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp dried basil salt and pepper to taste
For the cashew cream to add to pasta sauce: 1/2 cup raw cashews 1/2 lemon juice 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
For the cheese sauce topping:
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup soy milk 1 tbsp mustard 1/2 lemon juice 1 tbsp white miso paste 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 tbsp vegan butter or margarine salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Stir until fragrant and add the passata, basil, salt and pepper. Stir and reduce heat. Let it simmer for about 20 mins.
3. In a blender, combine the ingredients for the cashew cream. Blend until cashews are broken down and the mixture is creamy. Once the tomato sauce is cooked you can add this to it and stir it through.
4. Drain the pasta and add the creamy tomato sauce and stir through. Transfer to a square baking dish. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius.
5. In a blender, combine the ingredients for the cheese sauce. Blend until smooth and creamy. If too thick you can add more milk. It should be thick but still pourable. Pour the cheese mix over the pasta and use the back of a wooden spoon to spread it evenly.
6. Place the tray in the oven uncovered and bake for 25 mins until golden on top. Remove and serve warm. Enjoy!