Last night I had my mind set on pasta bake. But what’s the one thing that makes pasta bake complete (and so unhealthy)….CHEESE! Booooo
So I decided to test out a pasta bake with vegan cheese.
Risky, because it could taste ‘fake’ and ruin the whole dinner. Fortunately for everyone it was delicious, and my sister even said she wouldn’t know it wasn’t real cheese! When melted, it tricks the mind perfectly!
First things first- the garlic bread.
I’d make this in advance then pop it in the fridge ready to put in the oven beforehand.
It’s easy to make, just chop 4 or 5 garlic cloves, and mix with 2 tbsp of dairy free butter. Next cut 2 part baked baguettes into slices, and spoon the garlic butter in between each slice to ‘cement’ the baguette back together. Rub any leftover butter onto the top of the baguette, then sprinkle with mixed herbs.
Look out for vegan baguettes in Sainsburys. They’ll be marked with their vegan logo which is really useful and makes vegan shopping a lot easier!
Wrap them in foil until needed. You can place them in the oven in the foil, or in a tray but you must cook them for the first 10 minutes under foil to prevent burning, then for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden, at 200C.
Next the easy bit- the pasta!
Add a few handfuls of tomatoes on the vine to a roasting dish with a splash of oil. Leave to roast until wrinkly. You can add the garlic bread to the oven now.
Then dice 2 peppers and 2 onions. Fry in a pan with some oil from the jar of the Sundried tomatoes. After a few minutes, add the chopped Sundried tomatoes, and leave to fry on a medium-low heat.
Boil pasta. Whilst this is going on, grate about 250g of vegan cheese. I use the ‘strong cheddar style cheese by Sheese’ which you can buy from Unicorn or On The Eighth Day in Manchester, or I’m sure they’d be in any good health shop like Holland & Barratt.
Drain pasta when soft. Add pasta to the hot baking tray with roasted tomatoes, vine removed and squashed to ‘pop’ tomatoes.
Add the onions/peppers/tomatoes from the frying pan to the baking tray, along with half of the grated cheese. You can also add a handful of fresh basil leaves at this stage.
Mix well until the pasta is coated evenly with melting cheese and tomato juices and oils.
Add the rest of the cheese to the top of the pasta and leave to melt slightly for a few minutes.
Now remove tinfoil from the garlic bread.
Add pasta baking tray to the oven, and leave on 150C for 10-15 minutes.
Once cheese has melted, and garlic bread is golden, remove both from oven and serve on piping hot plates.