Oven Baked Pasta

If you are craving for a hearty pasta dish but do not want to load up on fat or cholesterol, then this baked pasta dish is perfect for you. This easy-to-make recipe does not use any meat or dairy. You can enjoy this tasty and healthy dish right away or store in the freezer, then reheat just before serving.

Ingredients:

• 1.1 pound of pasta
• shredded vegan cheese

Tomato Sauce:

• ½ onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 8 ounces of tomato puree
• ¼ cup of water
• ¼ tsp salt
• 3 pitted black olives, finely chopped
• ¼ tsp dried oregano
• ¼ tsp chili flakes
• ¼ tsp baking soda

Béchamel Sauce:

• ¼ cup of cornstarch
• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
• ¼ tsp salt
• 2 ¼ cups of cold non-dairy milk
• 1½ tbsp vegan butter

Instructions:

This recipe takes about 1 hour to make. Serves 6.

To make the tomato sauce, heat a dry pan over medium heat.
Sauté onions and garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add tomato puree and water, then stir.
Add salt, black olives, dried oregano, chili flakes, and baking soda.
Stir until the sauce boils.
Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan with a lid.
Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and let the sauce cool down completely before using.
To make the béchamel sauce, whisk cornstarch, ground nutmeg, ground black pepper, salt, and non-dairy milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
Once the sauce is warm, stir in butter.
Simmer the sauce while stirring constantly until thick, about 5 minutes.
Let the sauce cool down completely and divide into 3 potions.
Cook the pasta just half of the cooking time indicated on the packet instructions.
Preheat oven to 390°F.
Mix tomato sauce and cooked pasta in a mixing bowl, then divide into 2 portions.
Spread 1 portion of the béchamel sauce at the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish.
Spread 1 portion of the pasta mixture on top of the béchamel sauce.
Repeat the process ending in a béchamel sauce layer.
Top off with shredded vegan cheese.
Bake in the oven at 390°F for 15 minutes.
Let the baked pasta cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Ideas And Tips:

• For the non-dairy milk, you can use soy milk, oat milk or almond milk.

• Baking soda reduces the acidity of the tomato sauce.

• For the pasta, you can use macaroni, penne, ziti or rigatoni. You can also use whole wheat and gluten-free pasta.

• Vegan butter adds richness to the béchamel sauce but you can skip it entirely if you don’t want oil in the dish.

• You can also add chopped vegetables to the tomato sauce such as mushrooms, carrots, zucchini or bell peppers.

Oven Baked Pasta
images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc6aApDsXAQ

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