Recipe: Vegan Pasta Bake

Last week, I made a pasta bake for the first time ever. I never even made one when I ate meat or dairy products and so I was worried that I would make a total mess of it. However, it turned out to be pretty simple and very delicious! My first pasta bake followed a similar recipe to the one provided below, but I used vegan Quorn chicken fillets instead of sausages. I also added 2 tins of chopped tomatoes instead of 1, but I was aiming for a less saucy dish this time around. The vegan cheese I use is Sainsbury’s cheddar/Greek style which I grate myself, and more recently I have discovered a smaller brand of vegan cheese, Organic Vegerella, which is specified as good for melting. There are plenty of vegan cheeses out there to try, though. Most people tend to go for VioLife. Please note that when I say coconut milk I do not mean the type that you buy in cartons to pour over cereal and what not, I mean the tinned creamy stuff which you should most definitely  buy to keep in your cupboard as it is great for making your own curry and pasta sauces. I’m afraid I’m not one for measurements or specifics of any kind and so put a little faith and trust in your ability to estimate suitable measures when following this recipe. If in doubt, be generous. Yay leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • Pasta (I use tri-colour or whole wheat)
  • One or two onions
  • A clove of garlic
  • 1 can/box of chopped or tinned tomatoes
  • Tin of coconut milk
  • Vegan cheese (preferably one that melts well)
  • Vegan sausages (I used Linda McCartney chorizo style here)
  • Broccoli chopped into mini trees
  • Lightly salted tortilla crisps
  • Salt, pepper and herbs to taste
  • Olive oil
  • (Optional) Pitted green olives

Method:

  1. Put your pasta on the stove to boil until it softens but don’t overdo it as the pasta will later be baked again in the oven. If your veg is frozen (like mine) also boil this slightly.
  2. While your pasta is cooking, chop and fry your onions and garlic in the olive oil in a big/deep pan.
  3. Chop your vegan sausages into pieces and add them to the pan.
  4. Add your broccoli to the pan and sear a little bit.
  5. Throw in some olives, if you so desire.
  6. Pour the chopped or tinned tomatoes over the ingredients in the pan and stir well coating all of your ingredients.
  7. Add the CREAM ONLY of the tinned coconut milk – not the watery part.
  8. Mix in some salt, pepper and mixed herbs to taste.
  9. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pan, mixing it in well with the other ingredients.
  10. Put the contents of the pan into an oven-safe dish.
  11. Slice or grate your vegan cheese and form a layer on top of the pasta, covering the pasta well and crumble the tortilla chips over the top to create a crispy layer.
  12. Finally, put your pasta bake into the oven and cook through until the cheese has melted nicely and the dish is piping hot throughout.All images in article are Authors Own - Cover photo: http://www.recipecorner.com/recipes-vegan-pasta_recipes/baked-pasta-and-...

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