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Vegan Month of Food, Day 24: Garfield-Worthy Baked Rotini.
Everyone knows that Garfield loves lasagna, so if he decided to go vegan (unlikely, since he is a fictional cat), his favorite food would probably remain lasagna. I actually have a great recipe for vegan lasagna, but it can feel a little bit fiddly to go out and buy lasagna noodles and deal with meticulous layering on a busy weeknight. Enter: the simpler but extremely comforting Pasta Bake! Just watch out that a chubby orange cat - like Garfield or my sweet Bo Jackson - doesn’t eat it all!
(Makes about 6 servings)
-12 oz rotini or penne pasta, cooked al dente
-2 c marinara sauce
-1 ½ c roasted and salted cashews, soaked for at least an hour
-3 cloves garlic
-1 ½ c vegetable broth
-Juice of half a lemon (about 2-3 tbsp)
-1 tbsp Dijon mustard
-2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
-2 tbsp cornstarch
-1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (or your favorite red pepper-based seasoned salt)
-Additional Nutritional Yeast, Tony’s, and some dried basil to sprinkle on top.
-Preheat oven to 350F
-To make a cheesy cashew cream sauce, blend all ingredients below the marinara sauce, and up to the additional Nutritional Yeast, on high (or “liquefy”) until smooth.
-Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce onto the bottom of a large casserole dish. -In the pasta cooking pot, mix the pasta well with about ½ c of the cashew cream mixture. Pour this mixture into the marinara layer.
-As evenly as possible, pour the remaining marinara over the noodles.
-Pour the remainder of the cashew cream sauce over the noodles, to make a thick, “cheesy” top layer. Swirl a bit for some color, and sprinkle generously with the extra seasonings.
-Bake for 15 minutes. Then, broil for 2-3 minutes to make the top golden.
-Serve with love… Or take a cue from Garfield and rub it all over your body, if you’d rather not share.
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